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WITHOUT desiring to lay any claim to that fondness 
for story-telling commonly attributed to garrulous old 
people, the author has very naturally often enjoyed the 
pleasure which the narration of incidents, some of them 
now known, perhaps, to no other person living, has 
seemed to afford his friends. The opinion, repeatedly 
urged on such occasions, that he ought to preserve in 
authentic shape some of these historical anecdotes, has at 
length induced him to reduce to form such as he made 
notes of at the time, or can now recall with accuracy. If 
they fall short of the expectations formed of one who was 
known to have filled positions of high responsibility in 
military councils during the most critical period of our 
country s existence, or fail to reveal some of the hidden 
reasons for certain measures, and the secret history of 
certain events, which he may be supposed to know, it 
must be attributed partly to his conviction that in some 
matters the information confided to him was intended 
never to be made known ; and partly to the fact that, 
while his advice and experience were always submitted 



to the higher powers when called for, he abstained from 
seeking knowledge which it was dangerous to the success 
of critical enterprises to have disseminated more than was 
absolutely necessary, content with understanding enough 
to insure an efficient execution of the authority intrusted 
to him. 

Now that the lapse of time has softened the memories 
of the great conflict, and, beneath the kindly intercourse 
daily becoming cemented between North and South, the 
whole country is rapidly growing in prosperity, wealth, 
and power, the acts of men who were violently assailed 
in the hour of heated strife can and ought to be viewed 
with justice and kindness. Especially is this so in regard 
to those who are now far enough beyond the reach of 
criticism in the unknown world. It is the author s 
hope that nothing may be found in these papers contrary 
to that spirit of national charity. 

CITY OF WASHINGTON, D. C., June, 1883. 





Secession of Massachusetts The Irish soldier Token of affection . 1 


Tribute of Hon. W. M. Meredith and others Rumored resignation 
Virginia s bid for his services Testimony of Senator Douglas 
" Always a Union man " Parting with Governor Morehead Re 
newed oath " Views " Southern estimate of them ... 3 



Floyd s policy Plan to capture Fort Moultrie C. P. Stone Regulars 
and volunteers J. S. Wadsworth An old fogy Assignment of 
officers to guard public buildings General Sanford His grand 
review ............ 9 



The point of honor . . ........ If 



Sleeping en route March of the Seventh New York . . . .19 




Limited means of transportation Groundless fear of navigating the 
Potomac River 21 



Anonymous letters Precautions Demonstrations of respect Suspi 
cious characters Threats of " cold steel " . . . .22 


A flag-hoisting A test 28 



A painful interview Occupation of Arlington Easy shelling distance 
Mrs. Lee s note 29 



Simon B. Buckner Correspondence with General McClellan Ander 
son, Nelson, and Carter An unsuccessful diplomat . . .35 



Neutral ground General Scott s order 38 



A flag presentation " Are ye all there ? " 40 





A civil lawyer An exacting host A kind heart Seventy-fifth birth 
day A romantic adventure The cadet Gray The hot breakfast . 42 



Capture of United States troops in Texas Escape of French s battery, 48 


The American Bastile Arbitrary arrests justified Obedience to or 
ders A very respectable " French lady " 50 



Scott s plan opposed to invasion His proposed campaign down the 
Mississippi " On to Richmond ! " An anxious night A panic 
Order out of chaos 55 



General McClellan Discipline of volunteers Scott s choice for gen- 
eral-in-chief His complaint against McClellan McClellan succeeds 
gcott His tribute to Scott Halleck succeeds McClellan An order 
bewitched 60 


Object of demonstration on Leesburg Rigorous treatment of General 
Stone The secret history Colonel Raymond Lee General Stone 
at Red River Colonel Bailey s engineering Capture and recovery 
of his vote of thanks ?0 




General Scott s retirement Disposal of his staff Detached duty of 
the adjutant-general Several candidates 76 



Killed in battle Official announcement of his death His charities 

Decorated by the Pope A priest s eulogium 82 



Generous spirit of Burnside and Lincoln Plain language to Hooker 

Swapping horses while crossing a river 85 



A cavalry rifle The nervous traveler and the donkey " There is a 
man in there ! " 89 



Quakers Isaac s mode of warfare A woman in man s clothes A 

kind Southern woman A secret society " Knights of the Golden 
Circle " Grenfel Release of Confederate prisoners A Southern 
clergyman Greetings from the North Chaplains Bounty-jump 
ersI. C. V. R 92 



How to legalize an illegal order .... .105 





A false alarm President Lincoln s narrow escape . . . .108 



Sheridan s black horse " To Early, in care of Sheridan " A big scare 
Lo, they were gone ! . . . . . . . . . HO 



A Sunday service A salute at sea Conference with colored minis 
ters Fort Fisher Promoted while asleep 114 



Proclamation sent through the lines Good fruits " Dixie " . .119 


Magic effect A perverse eagle 122 



Mr. Stanton s suspension Not sustained General L. Thomas appoint 
ed ad interim Mr. Stanton resists Colloquy A lawyer s ruse 
" Stand firm ! " Neutral ground Another ad interim A new Sec 
retary 124 



"Always tying your shoe" " Some one had been drinking " The Sec 
retary obeying orders Blood enough shed Malicious reports 
Baptism Kindly notice 136 



Batcher Madison s portrait ..... . 142 



Obstacle to capital-moving Method of keeping records Tracing a 
cotton claim Tracing a soldier Confederate archives The Ala 
bama . . . . . .x 144 



The unknown man Convincing proofs ... .152 



General Scott in Mexico Martial law Lieber s instructions . . 160 


Medals of honor Recommendations "Kearny patch" Red white 
and blue Legal recognition Legends Devices . . .164 



Inevitable Stars and Stripes The Southern Cross The Stars and Bars 
The battle-flag The white flagIts surrender to the Monitor 
The black flag .......... 197 



A pleasure-trip The programme Fac-simile of Anderson s dispatch 
The flag-raising Festivities News of the President s death .210 





Unparalleled grief Guard of honor Funeral-train Lying in state 
Mottoes and floral tributes Imposing demonstrations The vet 
eran Scott " Come home " At the tomb A long farewell . . 220 



A vast camp "War-worn veterans The Bummer Brigade Final dis 
charge 244 



Paper of December 29, 1860 Several confederacies Garrison the 
forts Paper of October 30, 1860 Solicitude for the Union 
Paper of October 28, 1860 Holding the forts Paper of March 
3, 1861 Four alternatives "Wayward sisters" . . . .241) 



General Orders, No. 4, April 26, 1861 257 


Extract from Secretary of War s report to the President, December 1, 
1862 258 


Original draft of letter to General McClcllan, May 3, 1861 . . . 260 



Act to retire Lieutenant-Gcnnral Winfield Scott Correspondence . 263 




Minutes of colloquy at Savannah, Georgia 267 



Affidavits and statements of cause of death .... . 275 



General Scott s projet General Orders, No. 287, September 17, 1847 . 279 



Secession of Massachusetts The Irish soldier Token of affection. 

PRESIDENT BUCHANAN was very fond of visiting the 
Soldiers Home, near Washington. He sometimes, in the 
summer, occupied the quarters of one of the officers sta 
tioned there, with whom he was on terms of friendly in 
timacy. I was asked by this officer to meet the President 
at dinner one day in the fall of 1860. The Bishop of 
Maryland was also there. It was a delightful day, and I 
walked out, in order to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. 

There were some twelve or fourteen persons at the 
dinner. The hostess sat at the head of the table, with 
the President on her right, and myself on her left. The 
bishop was on the left of the host, at the other end of 
the table. In the general conversation that ensued it 
happened that the probable action of the Southern States 
in the pending troubles was discussed. The opinion was 
expressed that several of them would secede. Already 
several officers of the army and navy from those States had 


resigned. Mr. Buchanan seemed to be much annoyed, 
and said little. Presently some allusion was made to 
Massachusetts, when the President said, with considerable 
warmth : u I wish Massachusetts would secede ; she is 
practically already out of the Union by her action in the 
fugitive-slave matter." Now I, being a Massachusetts 
man, felt rather awkwardly at this. Questions as to what 
I ought to do coursed rapidly through my brain. Sud 
denly an inspiration seized me. Looking up at the Presi 
dent, who was directly opposite me, I said with mock 
humility, " Mr. President, if Massachusetts should secede, 
would it be my duty to resign from the army, sir ? " 
There was a dead silence. The President looked a little 
confused, and asked, " Are you from Massachusetts ? " 
"Yes, sir," said I; "but I have been a good deal in 
California, and became very fond of that State, which 
makes me sometimes feel like saying of it, as the Irish 
soldier did, when asked where he came from i I w r as 
born in Ireland, sir ; but I call Illinois me native State. " 
This excited a good laugh, and the conversation after 
ward took a more general turn. 

I hardly knew whether or not to congratulate myself 
on my hit ; but after dinner the President showed that he 
took it in good part, for he asked me how I came out of 
town. On my saying I had walked, he offered me a seat 
in his carriage if I would ride into town with him. Of 
course the offer was accepted with pleasure. On the way, 
I piloted him to the Oak Hill Cemetery, in Georgetown, 
where he desired to see a monument he had ordered in 
memory of a favorite niece, who was interred there, and 
of whose gentle nature he spoke with feeling and affec 
tion. He asked my opinion of the monument, and re- 


marked that he had not yet prepared the inscription, 
which was the only part unfinished, and that he feared 
he would hardly be able to attend to it properly before 
the time came for him to leave Washington. I offered to 
assist him in any way, and subsequently drew a plan of 
the monument, with the words of the inscription arranged 
on it, for his approval. I then attended to the cutting of 
the words and the setting up of the monument. 

This ride was thus the prelude to one of those episodes 
in life where the tender emotions of the heart shine forth 
with most sweetness amid the stern perplexities and harsh 
criticisms which attend high public office. It caused me 
me ever to remember with very kind feelings the official 
parting with Mr. Buchanan, when, a few weeks after, he 
retired from the presidential chair. 



Tribute of Hon. W. M. Meredith and others Rumored resignation Vir 
ginia s bid for his services Testimony of Senator Douglas " Always 
a Union man " Parting with Governor Morehead Renewed oath 
" Views " Southern estimate of them. 

FOR some unaccountable reason, efforts have been 
made, since General Scott s death, to throw doubts upon 
his real loyalty to the Union. In 1860 and 1861 much 
anxiety was felt to ascertain what course he would take. 
The papers of the day, however, furnished abundant evi 
dence that the tribute paid in a letter of April 30, 1861, 


addressed to him by Alexander Henry, Horace Binney, 
"W. M. Meredith, and others, was only just. This is an 
extract from that letter : 

" At a time like this, when Americans, distinguished 
by the favor of their country, intrenched in power, and 
otherwise high in influence, and station, civil and military, 
are renouncing their allegiance to the flag they have sworn 
to support, it is an inexpressible source of consolation and 
pride to us to know that the General-in-Chief of the Army 
remains like an impregnable fortress at the post of duty 
and glory, and that he will continue to the last to uphold 
that flag, and defend it, if necessary, with his sword, even 
if his native State should assail it." 

The Charleston (South Carolina) " Mercury," of April 
22, 1861, stated that " a positive announcement was made 
at Montgomery, Alabama,* that General Scott had re 
signed his position in the Army of the United States, and 
tendered his sword to his native State Virginia. At 
Mobile, one hundred guns were fired in honor of his res 
ignation." This shows something of the estimated value 
of the general s influence. 

Many efforts were made to induce him to resign, but 
he never once wavered in his devotion to the Union, 
whatever may be thought of the wisdom of his views, 
which, like those of every one, may be open to criticism. 
On one occasion Judge Robertson, a small, thin, but ven 
erable-looking man, came to Washington with two other 
Virginia gentlemen, to offer General Scott the command- 
in-chief of the Army of Virginia, together with an estate 
belonging to the Commonwealth, and esteemed the most 
valuable in Virginia, if he would abandon the United 

* Then the capital of the Southern Confederacy. 


States service and go with the South. The general lis 
tened in silence as Kobertson feelingly recalled tne days 
when they were school-boys together ; and then spoke of 
the warm attachment Virginians always cherished for 
their State, and of their boasted allegiance to it above all 
other political ties. But, when he began to unfold his 
offer of a commission and estate, the noble old soldier 
stopped him, exclaiming : " Friend Kobertson, go no fur 
ther. It is best that we part here, before you compel me 
to resent a mortal insult." Kobertson and his friends at 
once took their departure, and I saw them as they de 
scended the stairs, looking much discomfited. 

Senator Douglas delivered a speech in Ohio in which 
he said he had been asked whether there was truth in the 
rumor that General Scott was about to resign. " Why," 
said the Senator, " it is almost profanity to ask that ques 
tion. I saw him only last Saturday. He was at his desk, 
pen in hand, writing his orders for the defense and safety 
of the American capital." The Senator then detailed a 
conversation he had had with Judge Kobertson, in which 
the latter corroborated the account of the interview just 

General Scott answered an inquiry from his old and 
valued friend, Senator J. J. Crittenden, as to his reported 
intention to resign : " I have not changed ; always a Union 

Just before actual non-intercourse between the sec 
tions, Governor Morehead, of North Carolina, an old 
friend of General Scott, came one morning to his office. 
He had been to Philadelphia to withdraw his daughter 
from school, and take her home while travel was yet un 
interrupted. The interview between the old friends was 


very affecting. Both deprecated the prospect, so immi 
nent, ol a separation of the States. Not a suggestion was 
hinted that they might soon be together in the new con 
federacy, but their parting was evidently viewed by both 
as final. The Governor shortly arose and bade a mourn 
ful farewell. He then said his daughter, a sweet young 
lady, who was in a carriage below, wished very much to 
see General Scott once more, and asked if she might 
come. Of course, a ready assent was given, and she 
presently appeared. A few parting words of regret were 
spoken, and she, bending over the general as he sat in 
his chair, kissed him reverently on the forehead. Tears 
streamed down the cheeks of father and daughter as they 
silently withdrew. 

On Monday, May 6, 1861, in obedience to orders from 
the War Department requiring all officers to specially re 
new their oath of allegiance to the United States, the 
oath was administered to General Scott in his office, and 
at the same time to his staff. 

The famous sentence, " Say to the seceded States, 
Wayward sisters, depart in peace, " has been quoted as 
if it stood alone, to indicate that General Scott favored se 
cession. This is evidently unfair. The sentence referred 
to was the fourth and last alternative which it seemed 
to him was within reach of the President. It was con 
tained in a letter of March 3, 1861, to the Secretary of 
State about to come into office, and which appeared in 
print without the general s sanction. As early as Octo 
ber, 1860, the " views " of General Scott upon " threat 
ened " secession were published, and the four alternatives, 
afterward submitted to Mr. Seward, were a sort of sup 
plement to those views. The three papers entire will be 


found in Appendix A. As interpreted by the light of 
frequent conversations during my service with the gen 
eral, there is no doubt in my mind that he meant to show 
" all solicitude for the safety of the Union? and by point- 
in^ out not what he would approve or desire, but what 
would probably occur, viz., the fatal division not into 
North and South, but into four, and subsequently more, 
wesik confederacies to warn his countrymen against the 
dangers which seemed so imminently to threaten. Then, 
to prevent the possibility of secession, he declared : " In 
my opinion, all these works " (in Southern States) " should 
be immediately so garrisoned as to make any attempt to 
take any one of them by surprise, or coup de main, ridic 
ulous " ; and, with proper management, that " there is 
good reason to hope that the danger of secession may le 
made to pass away without one conflict of arms, one exe 
cution, or one arrest for treason" 

This was in October, 1860, before any events had oc 
curred to show what the future would certainly bring 
forth. To be sure, the advice to send troops to reenforce 
the posts seems absurd in view of the very small number 
he reported as available. But, as in duty bound, when 
submitting his recommendations, he represented the full 
extent of his own resources, leaving it to the President to 
use his constitutional powers to provide the means. A 
few weeks later, when there was a will, a way was readily 
found to raise all the troops needed. There is an obvi 
ous reason why, in the agitated state of the public mind, 
General Scott ought not to have made a specific recom 
mendation in writing on this head. 

As to the Southern sentiment, it was seen in the furi 
ous denunciations of him in Southern papers when his 


real position came to be known. Tlie secession estimate 
of his " views " was announced at the reception tendered 
to Mr. Floyd in Richmond, after he resigned his place in 
President Buchanan s Cabinet, in these words : 

" The plan invented by General Scott to stop seces 
sion was, like all campaigns devised by him, very able in 
its details, and nearly certain of general success. The 
Southern States are full of arsenals and forts, command 
ing their rivers and strategic points. General Scott de 
sired to transfer the army of the United States to these 
forts as speedily and as quietly as possible.* The South 
ern States could not cut off communication between the 
Government and the fortresses without a great fleet, which 
they can not build for years, or take them by land with 
out one hundred thousand men, many hundred millions 
of dollars, several campaigns, and many a bloody siege. 
Had Scott been able to have got these forts in the condition 
he desired them to be, the Southern Confederacy would not 
now exist" 

This was the involuntary tribute paid to General 
Scott s " views " in the capital of that very State which 
he had repudiated for the Union. It was not intended 
to glorify him, but Mr. Floyd for thwarting him. 

* The army had been unnecessarily scattered under Secretary Floyd s 
administration, and his assent was necessary to enable General Scott to 
draw in from remote posts companies now much more needed at the East. 




Floyd s policy Plan to capture Fort Moultrie C. P. Stone Regulars and 
volunteers J. S. Wadsworth An old fogy Assignment of officers 
to guard public buildings General Sanford His grand review. 

As early as January 2, 1861, the "New York Times " 
had the following statement : " It is now well known that 
military companies have been organized and drilled for 
months past in Maryland and Virginia, and that the dis 
tinct object of their organization is to aid in the seizure of 
"Washington City in the interest of the disunionists, or 
the prevention by force of Lincoln s inauguration. Some 
of the less prudent of their leaders boast in private cir 
cles that they have five thousand well-armed and organ 
ized men ready to strike the blow instantly upon the con 
certed signal being given." 

This statement perfectly agreed with information in 
possession of the War Department before Mr. Floyd left 
it. It is matter of surprise, under the circumstances, that 
Floyd should have permitted General Scott to assemble 
the military force he was able to bring to Washington 
for the defense of the capital. Other circumstances would 
seem to indicate either that Floyd had not at that time 
fully made up his mind what would be the drift of 
events ; or that he had not decided what his own course 
should be ; or else that he did certain things to conceal 
his ultimate designs. 

Mr. Floyd resigned as Secretary of War in the last 
part of December, 1860. Within about a month before 


that time, Colonel Cooper being absent, I was in charge 
of the Adjutant-General s office. Going one day to the 
Secretary s room on some business, T met there Colonel 
R. E. DeRussy, Acting Chief of Engineers, who had 
been sent for by the Secretary. Mr. Floyd took from 
his table-drawer a letter, which he read aloud, from some 
one in Charleston, South Carolina, stating that an organ 
ized band of the young men of Charleston had formed a 
plan to capture Fort Moultrie by assault. There was but 
a small garrison of regulars there, wholly inadequate to 
defend the fort. The sand had been blown into the 
ditch until it had gradually filled it in some places to 
within a short space from the top of the wall, so as to 
make it an easy matter to scale the parapet. Suggestion 
was made by the writer that information, or instructions, 
should be conveyed in some form to the commanding 
officer, to the effect that, in case of an assault being made, 
only a nominal defense would be necessary, in view of 
the fact that the attack would be made by so considraeble 
a number that the garrison could suffer itself to be over 
powered, and surrender gracefully, without loss of honor, 
and thus avoid useless bloodshed. This was the way the 
Southern arsenals and small detached posts were all 
taken; though no intimation was given by the United 
States authorities that they might be surrendered at all. 
Having read the letter, Mr. Floyd asked Colonel De 
Russy if there was any way at his disposal in which the 
sand could be cleared from the ditch. The colonel re 
plied that there was a small but sufficient balance of 
appropriation which could be applied to that purpose, 
and he could have it done as if it were a part of the re 
pairs he had been for some time putting on Fort Moul- 


trie. The Secretary then gave orders that the work 
should be done without loss of time. 

Although a grand organization of the entire militia 
force of the District of Columbia existed in general 
orders of the War Department, and plenty of regiments, 
brigades, and divisions were to be found on paper , yet the 
actual force consisted of two or three companies, pretty 
well drilled, and of a major-general and two brigadiers, 
whose physical capacity for active duty was at least 
doubtful. Moreover, most of the officers and men of the 
organized companies were either positive in their affilia 
tion with the South, or openly declared they would not 
fire upon their relatives and friends from Maryland and 
Virginia, if arrayed against them, even to resist an attack 
upon Washington. 

It happened that at this time Captain Charles P. 
Stone,* who was a distinguished graduate of the Military 
Academy, and had but a short time before resigned his 
commission in the Ordnance Department, was then in the 
city. Acting on the principle which all graduates from 
West Point recognize, Captain Stone offered his services 
to General Scott in any capacity where he could be useful. 
He was a Massachusetts man, and had served with credit 
under General Scott in the Mexican War. About the 
first of January, 1861, he was mustered into the United 
States service as colonel and inspector-general of the 
District of Columbia militia, under the legal organization, 
and was assigned to the military command of the District 
of Columbia, with authority to reorganize the volunteers 
of the District. He very soon disposed of the disloyal 

* For several years past distinguished as the chief of military staff to 
the Khedive of Egypt. 


and lukewarm elements, and had a small but compact 
body of men, who did excellent service. 

Besides this force, Magruder s Light Battery, of the 
First United States Artillery, Barry s, of the Second Ar 
tillery, and a very fine battery, made up at West Point, 
of men, horses, and guns used in the instruction of cadets, 
and commanded by Griffin, also some foot-companies of 
artillery and some of infantry, which were within reach, 
were brought to Washington. Thus about three thou 
sand men were collected there, barely enough to guard 
the public buildings and the approaches to the city. 

Colonel Stone was indefatigable in posting his troops, 
and in collecting all the provisions he could get,* so as to 

* At about this time, General Scott received a telegram from General 
James S. Wadsworth, in New York, asking him if a vessel-load of cheese 
would be acceptable. I well remember the expression of satisfaction with 
which the general directed a reply to be sent that it would be, for it was 
really a question of some concern whether the army commissary and the 
private grocery and provision stores would have subsistence enough for 
citizens and troops until the way could be opened from the North. The 
cheese arrived safely and was issued to the troops. General Wadsworth 
soon after entered the United States service, and after rendering much 
important aid in various capacities, and making himself exceedingly popu 
lar, was killed in battle. The name of Fort Richmond, on Long Island* 
near the entrance to New York Harbor, was changed to Fort Wadsworth 
in his honor. With this fort is connected, later, one of President Lincoln s 
humorous sallies. High officials of the navy proposed to the President 
that the military engineers should prepare Fort Wadsworth with sand-bags 
and others appliances, according to the latest ideas of defense against iron, 
clad ships with heavy armaments ; and that an iron-clad ship should then 
try to batter it down. The experiment was to be tried of the relative 
powers of such a battery to destroy and of such a fortification to with 
stand. The President paid a visit to Secretary Stanton in his office, to ask 
his opinion of the scheme. Mr. Stanton sent for the then Chief of Engi 
neers, General Delafield. He heard the whole plan in silence, and then 
said : " Mr. President, I do not perceive that any provision is made that my 


stand a siege if necessary. He took large quantities of 
flour from the mills in Georgetown, the most of which he 
stored in the Capitol building. All the halls were soon 
barricaded with barrels, and the floors white with their 

Companies were quartered in the public buildings, 
with stores of ammunition and provisions. Picket-guards 
were posted at the bridges and highways leading into the 
District, and a concerted signal was announced, at sound 
of which the troops were to repair to certain rendezvous 
in case of attack. 

It occurred to me that it would be a wise plan to as 
sign a regular officer of rank to the charge and command 
of each public building and important section of the city. 
General Scott approving the suggestion, Colonel Stone 
and I arranged the details, which were given in an order 
of the general. Adjutant-General L. Thomas lived in 
Georgetown ; to him was assigned the command of all 
the troops there, and the provision for guarding the 
bridges. He was always there at night. Major McDowell, 
assistant adjutant-general, who was" the officer employed 
to muster volunteers into the United States service, was 
.assigned to Capitol Hill, especially to take charge of the 
Capitol building. This became an important and exten- 

fort shall be allowed to defend itself. This is one of our most costly perma. 
nent forts, and it is in complete order. I shall have no objection whatever 
to the test, if you permit me to man my batteries and fire back again ; but 
I am not willing to stand by and see those expensive works knocked to 
pieces without their having a chance to give as good as they get." " That s 
right ! that s right ! " said the President ; " why, they told me you were a 
good deal of an old fogy ; but I like just such old fogy ideas as yours." 
It seemed that some persons had been advising the President to retire 
General Delaneld, and put a younger officer at the head of his corps, 


sive command, as soon as regiments of volunteers from 
the North arrived, for many of them were quartered 
there. McDowell so commended himself to Secretary 
Cameron, by his skillful management of these new troops, 
that a little later, with the influence of Mr. Chase, Secre 
tary of the Treasury like himself an Ohio man he 
was selected to receive the commission of brigadier-gen 
eral in the regular army. 

Captain W. B. Franklin, Corps of Topographical En 
gineers,* who had charge of the extension to the Treasury 
building, then in process of erection, was assigned to that 
building. He collected there quite a magazine of sup 
plies. For the defense of the President and the Executive 
Mansion I named several high officers, but Colonel Stone 
objected to each one. At last I asked him who was his 
choice. He replied, "I claim that post for myself, as 
the most responsible and dangerous." Colonel J. P. 
Taylor, commissary-general of subsistence, was assigned 
to the Patent-Office building ; Captain A. A. Humphreys, 
Corps of Engineers, to the Smithsonian ; Colonel Garesche, 
assistant adjutant-general, to the War Department build 
ing. Some warm personal friends of President Lincoln 
formed a volunteer body-guard, to stay in the Executive 

The officers thus distributed attended to their regular 
duties in the day, but were at their posts every night to 
be in readiness for an emergency. Instructions for their 
guidance in such an event were issued in general orders. 
(See Appendix B.) The few troops we had were fre 
quently marched in small bodies through the streets, 

* Of this officer s balance of character, General Scott used to say that 
he was neither too fast nor too slow. 


either in relieving guards, or for exercise, and thus an 
impression arose that their numbers were much greater 
than they really were. Several years after the war I was 
told by a citizen that such was the general belief, and that 
it was supposed we were constantly being reenforced by 
the troops seen marching to and fro. 

There never was greater rejoicing than when the vol 
unteers from the North began to arrive. The famous 
New York Seventh was the first to appear. It arrived 
April 27th, and its welcome will not soon be forgotten. 
It marched up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Executive 
Mansion, where it passed in review before the President, 
and thence to the War Department, where it was regu 
larly mustered into service. After this, other regiments 
continued to arrive in quick succession. Major-General 
Sandford, long conspicuous in New York as an energetic 
and intelligent commander of a fine division of the State 
uniformed militia, received from General Scott a tele 
gram, dated May 6, 1861, saying, " Send without delay 
every regiment of the New York quota in and about your 
city, as soon as equipped for service, to this place, ma the 
ocean and the Potomac River." By untiring exertions, 
he forwarded his whole division, splendidly organized and 
equipped. In reference to his coming in person, General 
Scott telegraphed to him, on the 8th of May : " Nobody 
more highly estimates your value as a soldier than myself, 
and you will receive a hearty welcome from. me. More 
than one brigade of your troops are here, and more ex 
pected. Your right to follow them and command them 
is unquestionable, but your presence will be attended with 
one disadvantage: we are in critical circumstances, and 
it would take weeks to make you as well acquainted with 


localities, officers, and men, as brevet Brigadier-General 
Mansfield, whom you would supersede as the commander 
of the department." 

"With an unselfishness worthy of commemoration, Gen 
eral Sandford waived this consideration, and soon followed 
his division, reporting in person in the latter part of May. 
He was received into the United States service, and placed 
in command of the New York troops and of Arlington 
Heights. General Scott was very much pleased at his 
soldierly tone, and at the orders he had given his troops 
in starting them from New York. Hearing that the Po 
tomac River was closed by rebel batteries, he instructed 
them to proceed up the river in their transports, and, if 
molested by hostile batteries, to land in sufficient force, 
storm them, and disperse the enemy. 

The first grand review that took place in the city of 
Washington was that of Major-General Sandford s divis 
ion of ten thousand men. The troops marched before 
President Lincoln and Cabinet, and General Scott, who 
were seated on a platform erected on the sidewalk in 
front of the Executive Mansion. A large proportion of 
the regiments was composed of foreign citizens, who had 
evidently seen military service in their native countries, 
and being, as they were, all well dressed in uniforms of 
their own fancy, well drilled, and preceded by excellent 
bands, or drum-corps, the effect was much like a display 
of fine troops somewhere in Europe. It had a great in 
fluence in inspiring military enthusiasm and confidence, 
in strong contrast with the depression of our beleaguered 
state but a few weeks before. 

The uniforms of several regiments, like the Zouaves, 
were new to Americans, and none the less striking. The 


Garibaldi Guards presented a most picturesque appear 
ance, in a rich foreign uniform, with vivandieres attached 
to each company, marching on its right flank. As this 
regiment passed in review, nearly every man took from 
the muzzle of his musket, or from his breast, a small 
bunch of flowers, or of evergreens, and tossed it toward 
the stand. The vivandieres did the same, and raised 
their hands to their caps in a graceful salute. The ground 
in front of the stand was thus completely strewed with 
flowers. One man, more enthusiastic than the rest, 
stepped from the ranks toward the stand and lodged a 
handsome bouquet directly in General Scott s lap. The 
next day there was a loud lament and complaint of this 
regiment from persons living near the encampment, that 
their gardens had been stripped of every flower and green 
sprig ! 


The point of honor. 

IN the evening of the 23d of January, 1861, a tele 
gram was received from Captain Arnold Elzey, Second 
Artillery, commanding Augusta Arsenal, Georgia, say 
ing : " I am just officially informed by the Governor of 
Georgia, now in Augusta, supported by a superior mili 
tary force, that Georgia, having resumed exclusive sov 
ereignty over her soil, it has become his duty to require 
me to withdraw the troops under my command at the 


earliest practicable moment from the limits of the State. 
He declares his intention to take possession of the arsenal, 
and proposes to receipt for the public property and ac 
count for the same on adjustment between the State of 
Georgia and the United States of America. He further 
declares that the retention of the troops upon the soil of 
Georgia after remonstrance is, under the laws of nations, 
an act of hostility, claiming that the State now is not only 
at peace, but anxious to cultivate the most amicable rela 
tions with the United States Government, and that an 
answer from me to his demand is required at nine o clock 
A. M. to-morrow. An immediate answer to this communi 
cation is respectfully requested." 

I submitted this to General Scott as soon as it arrived. 
The general took me in his coupe to the residence of the 
Hon. Joseph Holt, Secretary of War, on Capitol Hill, to 
prepare a reply. The veteran, annoyed as he was at the 
idea of United States troops surrendering a post under any 
circumstances, was aware how hopeless an attempt at re 
sistance would be, and yet, he insisted, the point of honor 
demanded that at least a shot should be fired before delib 
erately yielding even to an overwhelming force. How to 
convey this idea by telegraph to the commander of the 
arsenal, without exacting unnecessary bloodshed, was the 
question. After trying several forms, the following was 
agreed upon and sent that evening, in the hope that the 
officer to whom it was addressed would weigh it carefully, 
and that his soldierly instinct would enable him to see its 
drift : 

" The Governor of Georgia has assumed against your 
post and the United States an attitude of war. His sum- 


inons is harsh, and peremptory. It is not expected that 
your defense shall be desperate. If forced to surrender 
by violence or starvation, you will stipulate for honorable 
terms and a free passage by water with your company to 
New York. J. HOLT, Secretary of War" 

If Captain Elzey did not apprehend what was ex 
pected of him, it may perhaps be accounted for by his 
subsequently resigning and entering the Confederate ser 
vice. His official report shows that early the next morn 
ing he sent to beg an interview with the Governor of 
Georgia, when he arranged terms for the immediate sur 
render of all public property except that of his company 
and its arms. 


Sleeping en route March of the Seventh New York. 

WHILE Northern troops were arriving daily at An 
napolis, and their presence was greatly needed in Wash 
ington, they had to remain for some time inactive from 
want of ability to communicate orders to them. The 
roads were beset by rebel scouts, and the railroad was en 
tirely controlled by unfriendly hands. Two or three offi 
cers attempted to make their way to Annapolis, but were 
obliged to turn back. At last a young son of Colonel 
Abert, Chief of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, 
undertook to convey a message. He bore orders to Gen- 


eral B. F. Butler, who held a commission from the Gov 
ernor of Massachusetts, and was the senior officer of the 
troops at Annapolis. Mr. Abert was familiar with the 
whole of that part of the country, and, though a mere 
stripling, he developed a rare coolness, bravery, and en 
durance, worthy a much older person. He started on 
foot, in his ordinary civilian dress, and, going across the 
country, struck the Annapolis Railroad not far from the 
Junction. He was frequently stopped, but, by his ready 
answers and evident knowledge of persons and localities, 
sustained his role of a Maryland citizen trying to get 
home to Annapolis. So completely did he deceive his 
interrogators that they helped him on the way, instead of 
impeding his journey. He was allowed to get on a plat 
form-car bound for Annapolis, and very coolly lay down 
and went to sleep until he safely reached a point near 
the depot, when, to evade arrest ~by the Yankees, he got 
off and stole into town. From that time General Butler 
was regularly invested with the command, and the regi 
ments began their march for the capital. Young Abert 
afterward received a commission in the regular army, 
and was a gallant officer. 

The experience dreaded by the gentleman who came 
to ask General Scott what was the destination of the Sev 
enth New York Regiment was not realized. The regi 
ment was among the very first to reach Annapolis. In 
reply to the question what the general wished it to do, 
he said, " March to Washington." " March ! why, gen 
eral, its tracks will be marked with blood ; it will have 
to fight its way through hordes of rebels ! " " Fight, sir, 
fight ! That is what the regiment came for ! This is not 
a time to play soldier on parade ! " The reality of the 


situation was at once perceived, and no further question 
was raised. The regiment marched, and would have 
fought, too, but it met no opposition. 



Limited means of transportation Groundless fear of navigating the Poto 
mac River. 

ON the morning of April 25th, as I happened to 
come out of the office opposite the War Department, 
Secretary Cameron drove to the door in a buggy. See 
ing me, he turned his driver out, and invited me to take 
his place. Assuming the reins, I inquired, "Where 
shall I drive, sir ? " "I wish," said he, " to go to the 
railroad depot as fast as possible." On reaching the 
depot, the first thing was to close the telegraph-office and 
lock it up, before the operator could send off a dispatch. 
Then we found Colonel Stone, who was at the depot, 
and, with the guard already stationed there, had been 
collecting all the extra rails and material he could find. 
The Secretary directed him to take possession of the 
depot, and all the small amount of rolling-stock and ma 
terial there, and to hold it under military control. 

While we were at the depot a small train arrived from 
Baltimore, which was taken. The engines and cars thus 
seized, with some few at Annapolis,* constituted for some 

* Among these was the engine which had been taken to pieces by rebels 
and was put together again by the Massachusetts volunteer, who, being a 
machinist, recognized it as one he had helped to manufacture. 


weeks the only means of land transportation for convey 
ing troops from Annapolis. Several regiments destined 
for Washington had landed there, in consequence of the 
reports which had reached the North that the rebels had 
batteries on the Potomac which would sink any trans 
ports going up the river. The fact really was, that our 
gunboat flotilla made daily examination of Matthias 
Point, where the channel runs very near the shore, and 
of other dangerous places, and for a long time found no 
evidence of batteries, or preparations to erect them. But 
this information could not be conveyed in time to the 
troops on their way. 

It was not long before volunteer troops enough were 
received into service to guard the line of communication 
from Philadelphia through Baltimore ; and then engines 
and rolling-stock sufficient for all demands were rapidly 
put upon the route, and trains ran without fear of inter 
ruption. But, during the weeks of limited means, it was 
necessary to send an officer s guard with every train that 
moved to and from Washington. 



Anonymous letters Precautions Demonstrations of respect Suspicious 
characters Threats of " cold steel." 

EARLY in the commencement of the secession troubles, 
General Scott had lodgings at the house of Cruchet, a 
French caterer, on Sixth Street, opposite what was then 


the Unitarian Church, and is now the Police Court. One 
of his aides lodged on the opposite side of the street. A 
company of artillery, serving as infantry, was quartered a 
few blocks away, and a sergeant s guard detailed from 
this company was always on duty at the general s lodg 

About this time, a large number of communications 
were received from several Northern States, Canada, 
Kentucky, and other parts of the South, and from Eu 
rope, especially from Germany, some of them anony 
mous, others signed with a name. All concurred in 
the declaration that a plot existed to assassinate Presi 
dent Lincoln and General Scott. They agreed singu 
larly in the details, and sometimes in fixing the same 
dates for the attempt. The staff opened the general s 
mails, and we decided not to annoy him by telling him 
everything of this threatening character which we re 
ceived, but only to inform him of so much of the con 
tents of the communications as seemed necessary for him 
to know. 

One of these letters was from a clergyman living in a 
most prominent secession city, and read as follows, the 
names being purposely left blank : 

, February 14, 1861. 


RESPECTED Sra : A man by the name of 

was taken suddenly ill at the Hotel, and, desiring 

the services of a minister, I was called in. He had hardly 
time to confess to me that he was an accomplice to a 
most diabolical scheme of undermining and blowing up 
the Capitol on the Ides of March. I am constrained by 


his request to write you immediately, hoping that you 
may succeed in frustrating so diabolical a plan. 
I am, truly yours, 

Rector Church of 

So many of these statements agreed in affirming that 
the general would be attacked on a certain Thursday, 
that I could not help feeling unusual apprehension, and 
I determined to leave nothing undone to defeat the dia 
bolical plot. The evening before that Thursday, one of 
the aides, who had been to the general s quarters, called 
at my house and told me the general wished to see me. 
In order to be prepared with any official information that 
might be required, I asked if he had mentioned why he 
wished to see me. The aide replied no, but he thought 
the general felt a little uneasy at being alone, so far away 
from where all the officers lived, the aide who was quar 
tered near him being temporarily absent in New York. 
I went down at about eight o clock, and found, as had 
been suggested, that I was merely wanted for company. 
I now thought it best to tell the general frankly that we 
apprehended an attempt on his life the next night, and 
wished he could be persuaded to move on the morrow to 
some lodgings near the War Department, where imme 
diate access could be had to him. He at first made light 
of it, said that he felt quite secure with his guard, and 
that he did not place much reliance on the anonymous 
letters. I urged upon him that we had no right in such 
times to disregard even such sources of information, but 
when so many, coming from places so far apart, agreed 
in such a singular and circumstantial manner in their 


assertions, I thought it an imperative duty to use ex 
traordinary precautions. At length he consented that I 
should procure him suitable lodgings, and agreed to move 
the next day. I remained with him till eleven o clock, 
after offering to stay all night and keep watch by him, 
to which he would not listen. Then I gave the guard 
minute cautions and instructions. The sergeant was, on 
the occurrence of anything unusual, to send immediately 
to the company quartered near, and dispatch a messenger 
for me. The next morning I engaged the kind offices of 
Captain Palmer, of the Corps of Engineers, who had more 
leisure than I, to hunt up new quarters for the general. 
He found very comfortable ones at Mrs. Duvall s, a house 
No. 159 (old series) still standing back in a yard, on 
the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue, between Seven 
teenth and Eighteenth Streets. I dined with the Gen 
eral at Cruchet s Thursday evening, and after dark we 
drove in his coupe to Mrs. Duvall s. The headquarters 
company was moved to a house qn Seventeenth street, 
opposite the War Department. The sergeant s guard was 
stationed in an out-building in the yard of the general s 
quarters, where it could hear orders conveyed in a whis 
per, and sentinels were posted in the yards in front and 
rear of the house. The back yard extended through to 
G Street, near its junction with Seventeenth, and the 
whole company could hear an alarm-shot, and in two 
minutes be at the general s side. 

For several nights, until arrangements were made for 
an aide to lodge in the house, I rested on a sofa in the 
outer room, next the general s chamber, with sword and 
revolver at hand, fully expecting that some attempt would 
be made upon us. Nor shall I ever be convinced that any- 


thing prevented it except the evident state of preparation 
and watchfulness which was maintained. Every half-hour 
in the night I visited the sentinels and took observations 
of the neighborhood. There was a wood-yard on each 
side of the house, and frequently in the night the pecul 
iar secession whistle was heard, coming from some one 
in these yards. I would then send out a patrol to search 
these yards. There were discharges of guns frequently in 
the night, and the inmates of the house heard bullets 
strike against its brick walls. The gentlemen boarders, 
among them a young clergyman, were at their request 
furnished with fire-arms, and they would have used them 
to good effect in the general s defense, so enthusiastic 
was their veneration for him. 

Whenever General Scott alighted from his coupe to 
pass to his office, lines were formed by persons, generally 
in humble life, who removed their hats, and frequently 
uttered a fervent " God bless you, general ! " as he passed 
them. Sometimes dark-visaged men would be seen on 
the corners of the street, intently scrutinizing him ; and 
we were told by a stable-keeper near by that on two or 
three occasions very suspicious-looking men had asked 
him all sorts of questions as to where the general lived, 
how many officers he had on his staff, and what sort of 
looking men they were ; and that he had once seen them 
take notes after such a conversation. 

There was a young officer of cavalry attached to the 
general s staff as an extra aide. He was quite proud of 
his uniform and of his fine horsemanship, and certainly 
was a good-looking fellow. I had heard that there 
was a company formed near Tenally Town, back of 
Georgetown, which was drilling at night under suspicious 


circumstances. As this young officer was intimately ac 
quainted in Georgetown and vicinity, I directed him to 
go out cautiously and try to ascertain the facts, without 
letting his mission be known. He could not forego the 
gratification of displaying his uniform and military trap 
pings to his old friends, so out he galloped in complete 
martial equipment. He went to a store-keeper whom he 
knew, and believed to be a Union man, and bluntly in 
quired of him about what he wanted to ascertain. The 
man told him he had heard there was such a company 
under drill, but he did not know much about it. He 
promised to ascertain and let him know in a day or two 
if he would go out again. " But," said he, " when you 
come again I advise you to come in citizen s dress, or else 
to bring a guard with you. All General Scott s staff are 
known and marked, and, some of these times, if they 
don t look out, they will get an inch of cold steel in 

These were some of the incidents that occurred every 
day, especially about the middle of April, 1861, which 
kept us vigilant night and day. No wonder that for 
weeks we lived in the constant expectation that, as we 
proceeded on our way from the general s quarters to our 
own, often late at night, we might at anytime be assailed 
from behind a tree, or from some dark alley. 



A flag-hoisting A test. 

AMONG the early arrivals of troops at the capital were 
the First Regiment of Rhode Island Infantry, command 
ed by Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside (afterward general 
and Senator), and Captain Charles H. Tompkins s bat 
tery of Rhode Island Artillery. Governor William 
Sprague accompanied these troops, to be soon followed 
by others from his State, as commander-in-chief of the 
whole. The Governor wore a military dress, was attended 
by a staff, and by his presence and example, no less than 
by the excellent organization and equipment of his com 
mand, did much toward creating the enthusiasm and pride 
which inspired the whole body of troops and the loyal 
among civilians. The infantry regiment was quartered in 
the Department of the Interior, over which building the 
United States flag was hoisted on the 3d of May, amid 
the acclamations of a large assemblage, the regiment pa 
rading in front, and its band playing patriotic airs. 

Governor Sprague was remarkably youthful in ap 
pearance, and generally thought to be handsome. This, 
with his modest, dignified manners, made him quite pop 
ular. Some of the most piquant of romances notoriously 
originate during the stirring times of war, and so the 
handsome and chivalric young Governor soon became the 
object of harmless gossip in connection with the beautiful 
daughter of the Secretary of the Treasury. This young 
lady was the belle of the time, and her father s estimate 


of her was readily accepted in addition to her more pat 
ent charms : " She is a good daughter," he said, in reply 
to some complimentary allusion to her. The report of 
this engagement, not then acknowledged, did not fail to 
be discussed in General Scott s military family. The 
general himself, having a high regard for both parties, 
made some kind remarks referring to it. It happened 
one day, on the occasion of some display of troops, that 
the young lady, with her father, appeared on the street 
in an open landau. As they stopped near General Scott s 
office, the gallant veteran went to the carriage to pay his 
respects. As they were chatting, Governor Sprague came 
up and joined the group. Soon after, in his quarters, the 
general again referred to the report of the engagement, 
and said : " Did you observe the young lady during that 
interview ? I watched her narrowly, and she bore the 
test admirably ; no sign of emotion was betrayed by her." 
He evidently took as much interest in the affair as the 
younger men. 



A painful interview Occupation of Arlington Easy shelling distance 
Mrs. Lee s note. 

ROBERT E. LEE was colonel of the Second (now Fifth) 
Regiment United States Cavalry, stationed in Texas. 
He had commanded that military department, and in 
April, 1861, was on leave of absence. General Scott 
knew that he was at Arlington Heights, at the house of 


his father-in-law, Mr. Custis, and one day asked me if I 
had seen or heard of him lately. I replied in the neg 
ative, except that he was on leave and at Arlington 
Heights. Said the general, " It is time he should show 
his hand, and, if he remains loyal, should take an impor 
tant command." I then suggested that I should write a 
note to Lee, and ask him to call at the general s head 
quarters. " I wish you w r ould," replied the general. The 
note was written, and the next day, April 19, 1861, Colo 
nel Lee came to the office. The general s was the front 
room of the second story. His round-table stood in the 
center of the room, and I had a desk in one corner. The 
aides were in an adjoining room, with a door opening 
into the general s. When Lee came in I was alone in 
the room with the general, and the door to the aides 
room was closed.* I quietly arose, keeping my eye on 
the general, for it seemed probable he might wish to be 
alone with Lee. He, however, secretly motioned me to 
keep my seat, and I sat down without Lee having a 
chance to notice that I had risen. The general having 
invited Lee to be seated, the following conversation, as 
nearly as I can remember, took place : 

General Scott. You are at present on leave of absence, 
Colonel Lee ? 

Colonel Lee. Yes, general, I am staying with my fam 
ily at Arlington. 

General Scott. These are times when every officer in 
the United States service should fully determine what 
course he will pursue, and frankly declare it. No one 

* General Cullum thinks he was also in the room with the general, and 
present at this interview, but I am quite confident no one but myself wit 
nessed the conversation between General Scott and Colonel Lee. 


should continue in government employ without being 
actively engaged. (No response from Lee.) 

General Scott (after a pause). Some of the Southern 
officers are resigning, possibly with the intention of tak 
ing part with their States. They make a fatal mistake. 
The contest may be long and severe, but eventually the 
issue must be in favor of the Union. (Another pause, 
and no reply from Lee.) 

General Scott (seeing evidently that Lee showed no dis 
position to declare himself loyal, or even in doubt). I 
suppose you will go with the rest. If you purpose to re 
sign, it is proper you should do so at once ; your present 
attitude is an equivocal one. 

Colonel Lee. General, the property belonging to my 
children, all they possess, lies in Virginia. They will be 
ruined if they do not go with their State. I can not raise 
my hand against my children. 

The general then signified that he had nothing further 
to say, and Colonel Lee withdrew. The next day, April 
20, 1861, he tendered his resignation, and it was accepted 
the 25th. General Scott made no remark upon the sub 
ject, but he was evidently much grieved at thus parting 
with a man of whom he had been justly proud, and for 
whom he had cherished the highest personal regard. He 
had no more devoted or efficient staff officer than Lee 
was in the Mexican War. 

It was probably near the same day as the interview 
with General Scott that the following incident, related to 
me by the late General Shiras, occurred. Shiras was in 
the office of Adjutant-General L. Thomas when Colonel 
Lee came in there. Standing on the side of the table 
opposite where Thomas was sitting, Lee said, " General 


Thomas, I am told you have said I was a traitor ! " 
Thomas arose, and, looking him in the eye, replied : " I 
have said so ; do you wish to know on what authority ? " 
" Yes," said Lee. " "Well, on the authority of General 
Scott ! " Lee muttered, " There must be some mis 
take," turned and left the room. 

Colonel Lee s family remained at their home, the 
Custis mansion, Arlington Heights, for some time after. 
They would doubtless have been treated with respect by 
our people had they chosen to continue their residence 
there. The cause of their hasty departure was the intelli 
gence that the heights were to be occupied and fortified 
by the Union forces. 

On the evening of May 2d there was a conference at 
General Scott s headquarters, in which the commander 
of the troops in "Washington, General Mansfield, partici 
pated. The subject considered was the general defense 
of the city of Washington. Among the points discussed 
was the Heights of Arlington, and whether it commanded 
the city. The next day General Mansfield reported as 
follows : 

""We now come to the city, and Georgetown, and 
arsenal, exposed to the Virginia shore. Here I must re 
mark that the President s house and department build 
ings in its vicinity are but two and a half miles across the 
river from Arlington high ground, where a battery of 
bombs and heavy guns, if established, could destroy the 
city with comparatively a small force, after destroying 
the bridges. The Capitol is only three and a half miles 
from the same height at Arlington, and at the aqueduct 
the summits of the heights on the opposite shore are not 
over one mile from Georgetown. 


" "With this view of the condition of our position, it 
is clear to my mind that the city is liable to be bom 
barded at the will of an enemy, unless we occupy the 
ground which he certainly would occupy if he had any 
such intention. I therefore recommend that the heights 
above mentioned be seized, and secured by at least two 
strong redoubts, one commanding the Long Bridge and 
the other the aqueduct, and that a body of men be there 
encamped to sustain the redoubts, and give battle to the 
enemy if necessary. I have engineers maturing plans, 
and reconnoitring further. It is quite probable that our 
troops assembled at Arlington would create much excite 
ment in Virginia; yet, at the same time, if the enemy 
were to occupy the ground there, a greater excitement 
would take place on our side, and it might be necessary 
to fight a battle to disadvantage." 

It may be supposed there was no little commotion 
among the chief men when it was ascertained that any 
public building in Washington could be so easily shelled 
from Arlington. General Scott was in the habit of writ 
ing short "bulletins" as he called them, daily to the 
President. These were copied by a young officer, a rela 
tive of the Lee family, in whom the general took an ex 
traordinary interest, and whom he supposed he had warmly 
attached to himself by many signal favors. The general 
made the result of General Mansfield s investigation of 
Arlington the subject of his bulletin, immediately after 
its receipt, and informed the President of the determina 
tion taken to prepare a column to go over at an early day 
to occupy the heights. For prudential reasons this bul 
letin was copied by another person, and it was not in 
tended that the young aide should know anything about 


it. He had been warned not to cross the river to visit 
his relatives. By accident the general left this bulletin 
on his table, and the young man read it. He doubtless 
made it known to Mrs. Lee.* 

In a day or two the general received from her the 
following note : 

" ARLINGTON, May 5th 11861], 

" MY DEAR GENERAL : Hearing you desired to see the 
account of my husband s reception in Richmond, I have 
sent it to you. No honor can reconcile either of us to this 
fratricidal war, which we would have laid down our lives 
freely to avert. Nor can it ever terminate now till every 
heart in the whole South ceases to beat, or they obtain the 
justice they demand. "Whatever may happen, I feel that 
I may expect from your kindness all the protection you 
can in honor afford. More I would not ask, or expect. 
Nothing can ever make me forget your kind apprecia 
tion of Mr. Lee. If you knew all you would not think so 
hardly of him. Were it not that I would not add one 
feather to his load of care, nothing would induce me to 
abandon my home. Oh, that you could command peace 
to our distracted country ! 

Yours in sadness and sorrow, 

"M. C. LEE. 

" Lieutenant-General SCOTT." 

When the heights were taken possession of, on the 24th 
of May, the Custis mansion was found abandoned. It has 
never been reoccupied by the family. As the war pro 
gressed, its absolute necessity as a fortified point induced 
the Government to erect several earthworks around the 

* He left the service a very short time after, and before he could be 
possessed of any important secrets. 


Custis estate. The estate itself was converted in part 
into a national cemetery, and in part into a depot for the 
Signal Service, and it still remains in that use. 



Simon B. Buckner Correspondence with General McClellan Anderson, 
Nelson, and Carter An unsuccessful diplomat. 

IT is well known with what anxiety the position which 
the State of Kentucky would occupy in the great contest 
was regarded by both sides. The effort from the begin 
ning was, if possible, to keep it neutral. But this could 
not be. Its geographical location made it too important 
a strategical region to prevent a desperate struggle for its 
possession. Simon B. Buckner, a graduate of West Point 
of the class of 1844, and a native of Kentucky, played 
rather a conspicuous part in its earlier councils of the 
war. He resigned from the army in 1855, and settled 
in Kentucky. In 1861 he was Inspector-General of the 
State, and commanded its Home Guards under Governor 

In June, 1861, some letters of General Buckner were 
published in the Louisville (Kentucky) papers, stating 
that he had entered into an arrangement with General 
McClellan, at Cincinnati, to the following effect : 

" The authorities of the State of Kentucky are to pro 
tect the United States property within the limits of the 
State, to enforce the laws of the United States, in accord- 


ance with the interpretations of the United States courts, 
as far as those laws may be applicable to Kentucky, and 
to enforce, with all the power of the State, our obliga 
tions of neutrality as against the Southern States, as long 
as the position we have assumed shall be respected by the 
United States. 

" General McClellan stipulates that the territory of 
Kentucky shall be respected on the part of the United 
States, even though the Southern States should occupy 
it ; but, in the latter case, he will call upon the authori 
ties of Kentucky to remove the Southern forces from our 
territory. Should Kentucky fail to accomplish this ob 
ject in a reasonable time, General McClellan claims the 
same right of occupying given to the Southern forces. 
I have stipulated in that case to advise him of the ina 
bility of Kentucky to comply with her obligations, and 
to invite him to dislodge the Southern forces. He stipu 
lates that, if he is successful in doing so, he will withdraw 
his forces from the territory of the State as soon as the 
Southern forces shall have been removed." 

In the middle of June following, General Buckner 
called into the service of the State some companies, in 
view of an excitement at Columbus, Kentucky. He stated 
to their commander, in assigning him to command the 
force : 

" Its general object will be to carry out the obligation 
of neutrality which the State has assumed in the contest 
now impending on our borders." 

Supposing that at this time Buckner was acting in 
good faith to preserve neutrality, yet in the above ex 
tracts may be found some provisions which would make 
it easy to array Kentucky on the side of the South before 


the contingency in which the United States troops might 
enter the State could be acted on. If he desired to use 
it for that purpose, much valuable time could be gained 
by that Governor who, in April, replied to the call of the 
War Department for volunteers, "I say, emphatically, 
Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose 
of subduing her sister Southern States." General McClel- 
lan s version of the agreement was to the effect that 
Buckner repeatedly solicited an interview with him, and 
when it took place it was strictly private and personal ; 
that he gave no pledge on the part of the United States 
authorities that United States troops should not enter 
Kentucky, but the only understanding, so far as he knew, 
was that Confederate troops should be confined to Con 
federate soil, so far as Kentucky was concerned. 

In May, 1861, General Robert Anderson was assigned 
to the command of the Military Department of Kentucky, 
he being a native of the State ; and Lieutenants Nelson 
and Carter, of the navy, also natives, were commissioned 
brigadier-generals of United States volunteers, and sent 
there. The object in sending these officers was that they 
might exert their influence in organizing the State militia 
in the interest of the Union, so that the Governor would 
have a reliable military force under his authority, suffi 
cient to cause the neutral attitude of the State to be 
respected. Anderson was also intended to be a safe 
counselor to the Governor, in reference to any mili 
tary movements that might be made, and to take com 
mand if the United States should have to take part in 

In August Buckner was in "Washington. He talked 
very cautiously about the affairs of Kentucky, and seemed 


anxious to create the impression with the Government 
that he was laboring zealously for the Union. The Presi 
dent was at one time on the point of conferring upon 
him (subject, however, to General Anderson s approval) 
the commission of brigadier-general of volunteers ; but, 
for certain reasons, this was not done, and he returned to 
Kentucky without such credentials. Soon after his re* 
turn he began to act under the commission of a general 
officer from the Confederate Government. With the two 
commissions, to use as circumstances might dictate, he 
could, if so disposed, have raised a very respectable body 
of recruits for the Confederates. 



Neutral ground General Scott s order. 

IN May, 1861, there were rumors that the bones of 
Washington had been moved from Mount Yernon. The 
report caused quite a sensation North and South. The 
estate was in charge of a lady who resided there. Through 
her means an understanding was brought about between 
Union and secession people of all classes that the domain 
should be regarded as strictly neutral ground, to which 
both parties should have equal right. Upon a represen 
tation made by this lady, General Scott, glad to find there 
was still one bond of union left the name of Washing 
ton issued the following order : 




WASHINGTON, July 31, 1S61. 

It has been the prayer of every patriot that the tramp 
and din of civil war might, at least, spare the precincts 
within which repose the sacred remains of the Father of 
his Country. But this pious hope is disappointed. Mount 
Yernon, so recently consecrated anew to the immortal 
Washington by the ladies of America, has already been 
overrun by bands of rebels who, having trampled under 
foot the Constitution of the United States the ark of 
our freedom and prosperity are prepared to trample on 
the ashes of him to whom we are all mainly indebted for 
these mighty blessings. 

Should the operations of war take the United States 
troops in that direction, the general-in-chief does not 
doubt that each and every man will approach with due 
reverence, and leave uninjured, not only the tomb, but 
also the house, the groves, and walks which were so loved 
by the best and greatest of men. 


By command : 

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General. 

ISTo case of trespass was ever known to occur after the 
neutrality of the domain was once established. 



A flag presentation " Are ye all there ? " 

As the general was one day sitting at his table in the 
office, the messenger announced that a person desired to 
see him one moment with a gift he had for him. A Ger 
man was introduced, who without flourish made known 
that he had been commissioned by a house in New York 
to present to General Scott a small silk banner. It was 
very handsome, of the size of a regimental flag, and was 
made of a single piece of silk, stamped with the stars and 
stripes in their proper colors, instead of being composed 
of different pieces stitched together, as is usually the case. 
The German said the manufacturers were desirous of 
offering some token of the great respect in which General 
Scott was held, and of their sense of his importance to 
the country in that perilous time. The general was highly 
pleased, and, in accepting the gift, assured the donors that 
the flag should hang in his room wherever he went, and 
finally enshroud him when he died. As soon as the 
man departed, the general desired that the stars might be 
counted, to see if all the States were represented. They 
were "all there." The flag was forthwith draped be 
tween the windows, over the lounge where the general 
frequently reclined for rest during the day. It went with 
him in his berth when he sailed for Europe, after his re 
tirement, and enveloped his coffin when he was interred 
at West Point. 


This incident was a remarkable illustration of Mrs. 
Sigourney s lines which appeared in the " National Intel 
ligencer " about that time : 


Are ye all there ? Are ye all there, 

Stars of my country s sky ? 
Are ye all there 1 Are ye all there, 

In your shining homes on high ? 
" Count us ! count us," was their answer, 

As they dazzled on my view, 
In glorious perihelion, 

Amid their field of blue. 

I can not count ye rightly ; 

There s a cloud with sable rim ; 
I can not make your number out, 

For my eyes with tears are dim. 
Oh ! bright and blessed angel, 

On white wing floating by, 
Help me to count, and not to miss 

One star in my country s sky ! 

Then the angel touched mine eyelids, 

And touched the frowning cloud ; 
And its sable rim departed, 

And it fled with murky shroud. 
There was no missing Pleiad, 

Mid all that sister race ; 
The Southern Cross gleamed radiant forth, 

And the pole-star kept its place. 


Then I knew it was the angel 

Who woke the hymning strain 
That at our dear Redeemer s birth 

Pealed out o er Bethlehem s plain ; 
And still its heavenly key-tone 

My listening country held, 
For all her constellated stars 

The diapason swelled. L. H. S. 




A civil lawyer An exacting host A kind heart Seventy-fifth birthday 
A romantic adventure The cadet Gray. 

THE President, Secretaries of War, State, and Treas 
ury used often to drop in at General Scott s office, or at 
his quarters in the evening. "When the President came, 
the general would always rise and insist on his taking the 
big arm-chair, which himself had been occupying. He 
would then recount to him the military movements of the 
day, and they would discuss some matter of interest, 
either of a military or political character. Sometimes 
nice questions would arise on international law as appli 
cable to the peculiar relations between the contending 
sections. On such occasions the general showed that he 
had not forgotten his early education as a civil lawyer, but 
through life had continued to read until he had become 
really profoundly learned in that profession. 


The general always expected one or more of the staff 
to dine with him, and to be at his quarters all the even 
ing. Then, too, the officer commanding the troops in the 
District, and other high officers, would call to communi 
cate with him, so he was always informed of everything 
that was going on. If there was no business, he was fond 
of relating anecdotes. They were always interesting, 
though the staff did not uniformly enjoy them, because 
they had so often heard some of them, after a fatiguing 
day, in a room heated by a six-burner gas- chandelier in 
midsummer. And, to say truth, the general had fallen 
into a way of speaking very slowly, with sometimes long 
pauses between his words. In short, these occasions were 
sometimes quite trying, for the general was exacting ; he 
not only required auditors, but strict attention from them, 
and he sometimes showed impatience when he thought 
they were wanting. One evening I had a dull headache, 
and sat with my hand shading my eyes from the bright 
gas-light. Suddenly the general stopped in the midst of 
a sentence, and said sharply, " Colonel Townsend is now 
asleep ! " I looked up in some surprise, and said, " Oh, 
no, general, I hear every word you say, but I have a head 
ache, and the gas hurts my eyes." With a changed tone 
he said, " Oh, pardon me," and went on with his story. 
At another time he was in a terrible mood. We all 
thought the dinner of rich jowl, of which he was espe 
cially fond, was at fault. He snapped up every one who 
said a word. The District commander soon excused him 
self, saying he must go home and get a cup of tea. When 
he withdrew, the general said, " I don t like tea-sops." 
So each one came in turn for some hit. All this time I 
had escaped by keeping silent. At last I brought it on 


myself from the very fear that he would remark on my 
silence. He was speaking of peculiarities of pronuncia 
tion in different States, and illustrating them by exam 
ples. Coming to Virginia, he repeated the words, " Go up- 
stars" " Now," thought I, " is a good time to show that 
I am an appreciative listener," so I added, in a pleasant 
voice, "And shut the do" He turned fiercely upon me 
and said : " What has that to do with it ? I have not come 
to that yet." Said I quietly, but in a decided tone : " I 
beg your pardon, sir ; I ll not interrupt you again." He 
saw I was justly displeased, and immediately changed 
his manner. After this the evening passed much more 
agreeably, and the general did not make another petulant 
remark. I received a vote of thanks from the rest of the 
staff for this involuntary coup, and the general never 
showed any displeasure at it. 

At one time I was sorely afflicted with " Job s com 
forters," which seriously interfered with my necessary ac 
tivity. One evening, when my right wrist was thus nearly 
disabled, the general desired me to write a dispatch at 
his dictation. I usually wrote as rapidly as he spoke, but 
on this occasion I was obliged to ask him to wait a mo 
ment until I could overtake him. He made some remark 
about my not being as prompt as usual, but when he 
knew the reason he offered to take the pen himself. 
These trifling incidents illustrate the kind heart always 
showing itself amid the general s peculiarities. 

Thursday, June 13,1861, General Scott s seventy-fifth 
birthday, was marked by the presentation to him of a 
handsome bouquet by his staff. The general was much 
gratified, and spoke in complimentary terms of us, as " the 
staff of his old age." 


One or two of the anecdotes related by the general at 
the evening soirees will be found interesting here. 

A ROMANTIC ADVENTURE. General Scott was cap 
tain of artillery in 1812. He was ordered with his 
horse-battery to march to the Northern frontier, where 
he laid the foundation of his fame. He had an excel 
lent first sergeant, who took pains to keep men, horses, 
and material in the highest order, and he was very 
proud of his splendid battery. On the march, as the 
battery was passing through a valley, the road lay close 
to the base of a high hill. At a sudden turn in the road 
Captain Scott, mounted on his spirited charger, came 
directly in front of a very attractive young woman, who 
was quite alone. The unexpected appearance of this 
formidable military display, seemingly ready to trample 
her under foot, threw the young lady into a great state 
of alarm. She turned pale, and seemed about to faint. 
Instantly the gallant captain sprang from his horse, and 
said some reassuring words, at the same time encircling 
her waist with his arm, as was evidently necessary to sup 
port her in her state of agitation. And so, the path be 
tween the foot of the hill and the road being very nar 
row, and the danger great that she might receive injury 
from the horses or wheels, she turned about to go home. 
The captain walked by her side and conversed pleasantly 
with her, not deeming it prudent the while to remove his 
supporting arm. They parted at her home, with modest 
expressions of thanks from the young lady. 

Many years after, Captain Scott, now become general, 
with world-wide fame, was journeying in a private con 
veyance over the same road. Late at night, in a pelting 


storm, he stopped at a wayside inn, and asked lodgings 
and a supper. The landlord made some difficulty about 
even admitting him, alleging that he had no good ac 
commodations, and could not provide a supper at that 
hour. After a short parley the traveler announced him 
self as General Scott, commander of the army, traveling 
on urgent military duty. He had come a long way that 
day, was weary and hungry, and the night was inclement. 
In an instant the door was thrown open, and the guest 
was shown to a parlor where in a twinkling a bright fire 
crackled on the hearth, and very soon after a smoking 
supper was served in good style, the host himself acting 
as waiter. After supper the general was ushered to the 
best chamber, where all things were arranged for his com 
fort. The next morning, at breakfast, the host addressed 
him with " General Scott, you are the only man in the 
world of whom I am jealous. I don t know but my wife 
thinks more of you than she does of me. She would like 
to come in and see you." The general had no conception 
who the fair lady could be, but he begged that he might 
have the pleasure of greeting her. In the tidy, good- 
looking matron who was thus introduced he recognized 
the pretty young woman of the hill-side adventure. 

THE CADET GRAY. Another anecdote of the gen 
eral s is interesting as accounting for the gray uniform 
which has so long been the pride of West-Pointers. 
While preparing at Buffalo, in the summer of 1814, for 
the campaign in Canada, General Scott wrote to the 
quartermaster-general for some new uniforms, especially 
overcoats, for his men. Having received in reply the 
information that they could supply him with nothing 


which he required, but that he could have some over 
coats of a light-gray color, very comfortable, though not 
the regulation uniform, he at once ordered them. Thus 
it happened that his command was clad in this dress 
when it crossed to Canada to meet the British under 
General Riall. General Scott, having been ordered to 
advance upon the British camp at Chippewa, moved in 
that direction on the morning of July 4th. In his march 
he encountered a body of the enemy, which, after some 
skirmishing, withdrew toward its main camp, and was 
rapidly and persistently pursued by Scott with his grays, 
whom the British commander mistook for volunteers, be 
cause of their uniform. When nearly overtaken, the 
British crossed Street s Creek and broke down the bridge 
behind them. When the Americans came to the bridge, 
and found their object foiled by its destruction, they 
could not repress their impatience and disappointment, 
for this alone prevented the battle of Chippewa, which 
was so handsomely won the following day, from being 
fought on the 4th of July. 

After the battle, the British commander, who had 
been so hotly pursued, told General Scott he could not 
.account for the good discipline of the volunteers before 
whom he had been forced to retreat so rapidly, or for the 
pertinacity of the pursuit, until he ascertained that his 
adversary really commanded a fine body of regulars, and 
remembered that anxiety to celebrate the anniversary of 
their independence had incited them. 

It was in honor of this brigade and its commander 
that the gray became the famous " cadet gray." 

Major-General Jacob Brown, in his report of the bat 
tle of Chippewa, said : " Brigadier-General Scott is enti- 


tied to the highest praise our country can bestow; to 
him, more than any other man, I am indebted for the 
victory of the 5th of July. His brigade has covered 
itself with glory. 15 


Capture of United States troops in Texas Escape of French s battery. 

AT the time of the outbreak of the rebellion, Major- 
General David E. Twiggs, a Louisiana man, was in com 
mand of the Military Department of Texas. A large pro 
portion of the regular army was serving within that 
department, distributed in small bodies over an immense 
tract of country. The Government was persuaded that 
Twiggs secretly acted in concert with the Texan author 
ities, and suffered them to beleaguer the Union troops in 
every direction, so that no measures could be taken to 
prevent their surrender in detail to overwhelming num 
bers. Thus very nearly all the officers and enlisted men 
were put under a strictly worded parole not to serve in 
any capacity during the whole war, unless exchanged. 
Some, but not all, of the immediate staff serving under 
Twiggs were stanch in their loyalty to the Union, and 
they did what they could under the adverse circumstances 
which enveloped them. Among these was one of the 
best of men, Major William A. Nichols, assistant adju 
tant-general. As chief of the staff he could do much by 
foreseeing and providing for emergencies before they 


occurred. It was through his contrivance that a valuable 
battery of artillery escaped from the State and was saved 
to the Government. 

In a note to me, dated March 7, 1861, Major Nichols 
says : " I send you a spool of cotton to show what shifts 
we were put to. It contains an order to French (William 
II. French, who commanded the battery) to cuidar * 
(take care) for his guns find it." The spool of cotton 
presented exactly the appearance of any ordinary one; 
but on removing the label pasted over the end and con 
cealing the hole which passes through the center of the 
spool, I discovered a small roll of thin paper, on which 
was written the following order : 


" SAN ANTONIO, February 10, 1861. 

" The Commanding Officer, Fort Duncan. 

" SIR : Move instantly with the artillery companies 
upon Brazos Santiago ; take your arms, guns, and neces 
sary equipments and camp equipages ; leave your horses 
on embarkation. The formal orders have been inter 
cepted. Texas will demand the guns of the batteries. 
A steamer will be ready to take you by sea." 

Not only were the movements of the army closely 
watched by the Texan s, but some of Twiggs s staff took 
service against the Government, and did all in their power 
to wrest everything of value from the loyal officers, and 
convey it to the Texan authorities. In order to evade 
such vigilance, the wife of Major Nichols managed to 
send the spool containing the order to the wife of the 
British consul, at Eagle Pass, inclosing it in a letter, in 


which she asked that it be conveyed to Major French. 
This lady dispatched it by a Mexican boy, who safely de 
livered it, and French s sagacity guided him to its real 
object. He skillfully eluded the beleaguerers, and saved 
all his guns. 



The American Bastile Arbitrary arrests justified Obedience to orders 
A very respectable French lady. 

EARLY in the summer of 1861, when things were rap 
idly developing toward the rebellion, a new power, not 
hitherto exercised in this country, was exerted for the 
public safety. Persons were arbitrarily arrested and con 
fined under military guard, on evidence satisfactory to 
the General Government that they were guilty of acts of 
a disloyal and dangerous character. It devolved upon 
the Secretary of State, in the first instance, to indicate 
who should be thus put in confinement. He made the 
arrests through his marshals, and they were turned over 
to General Scott, w^ho held them at Fort Lafayette, in 
New York Harbor. By a natural association of ideas, 
both with the name and this use of the fort, it soon ac 
quired the title of " the American Bastile." 

This new and arbitrary power struck the Secretary of 
State with much force, and he once remarked to General 
Scott that he found it hard to realize that he had only to 
touch a bell and order the arrest of Mr. A. B., and in a 


short time to hear that A. B. was accordingly imprisoned 
at Fort Lafayette. The military justification of this 
measure and the extreme caution with which the power 
was exercised are ably set forth in Mr. Stanton s report 
as Secretary of War, dated December 1, 1862. (See Ap 
pendix C.) 

The officer assigned to the immediate command of 
Fort Lafayette, specially selected by General Scott for 
that duty, was Colonel Martin Burke, of the regular ar 
tillery. The Secretary of State had heard the general s 
frequent jocose allusions to the colonel in terms which 
evinced perfect confidence in his vigilance and fidelity. 
One day he asked, " Who is this Colonel Martin Burke, 
of whom you seem to think so highly ? " The general 
replied : " He is one of my regulars, sir ; a veteran well 
known in the army." " Will he surely obey these ex 
traordinary orders we are giving ? " " You may rely on 
that, sir. Colonel Martin Burke is famous for his unques 
tioning obedience to orders. He was with me in Mex 
ico, and, if I had told him at any time to take out one of 
my aides-de-camp and shoot him before breakfast, the 
aide s execution would have been duly reported." This 
, created a hearty laugh, and brought some comical expres 
sions to the faces of the aides present. Martin Burke 
was thenceforth a synonym for unquestioning obedi 

As might be supposed, Colonel (afterward brevet 
Brigadier-General) Burke was involved in some trouble 
on account of civil processes sought to be served on him, 
to avoid which he confined himself within his chain of 
sentinels almost as closely as he kept his prisoners. He 
once received a summons to attend as a witness before a 


court-martial at Fort Columbus, in New York Harbor, 
about nine miles from his post. He wrote to headquar 
ters to inquire what it was his duty to do, saying he feared 
arrest by the civil authorities under an attachment which 
had been issued against him for not producing a prisoner 
in court on a writ, but which could not be served at the 
military post. This, he said, might prevent his obeying 
the summons of the court-martial. He suggested that, 
if it was deemed important enough for him to go, he 
might possibly escape arrest by traveling by water at 
night. His concern was, not about the arrest, but about 
a possible obstacle to his obeying his orders to appear as 
a witness. 

The following are the instructions which were given 
for Colonel Burke s guidance : 


WASHINGTON, July 19, 1861. 

Lieutenant- Colonel MARTIN BTJBKE, U. S. Army, Fort 
Hamilton, N. Y. 

SIK : The general-in-chief directs that you assume 
command of Forts Hamilton and Lafayette, New York 
Harbor, taking quarters at the former place. 

Orders have been given for the confinement of certain 
political prisoners and prisoners of war in Fort Lafayette, 
and a guard has been detailed for their custody, the offi 
cers of which will be quartered with the guard in the 
same fort. The general directs that you give orders to 
the following purpose : 

1. That the prisoners be securely held, and that they 
be allowed every privilege consistent with this end, and 
be treated with all kindness. 


2. That a record be kept of the names, dates of con 
finement, and release of the prisoners. 

3. That the prisoners be permitted to provide them 
selves with such comforts as they require. 

4:. That an exact account be kept of the subsistence, 
etc., furnished the prisoners of war. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Among the most noted and troublesome of Colonel 
Burke s guests at Fort Lafayette was a certain Captain 
or Colonel Thomas, who held a commission from the 
Confederate Government. He had the aliases of " Zar- 
vona " and " The French Lady." The latter was given 
him from the following incident, which illustrates his 
daring character, the account of which is taken from the 
" Baltimore American " of July 2, 1861 : 

" The steamer Saint Nicholas was captured in the Po 
tomac River by a party of secessionists. The steamer 
left Baltimore, having on board about fifty passengers. 
Among those who went aboard previous to her departure 
was a very respectable c French lady, who was heavily 
veiled, and, pleading indisposition, she was immediately 
shown to her state-room, where she was kindly cared for 
by the females on board. There were also a party of 
about twenty-five men dressed in the garb of mechanics, 
carrying with them carpenters , tinners , blacksmiths , and 
other tools. When near Point Lookout, the c French 
lady appeared on deck, not in crinoline, but in the per 
son of a stalwart man, who was immediately surrounded 


by the party of mechanics above alluded to. Captain 
Kirwan of the steamer demanded an explanation, when 
the lady-man informed him that he designed confiscat 
ing the steamer and going on a privateering expedition. 
Finding himself overpowered, Captain Kirwan was com 
pelled to submit, and the boat was handed over to the 
man and his crew, who took possession, and proceeded to 
run the steamer to a point known as * The Cone, on the 
Virginia shore. Upon landing at that place, the steamer 
was boarded by a body of about one thousand Virginia 
troops, when the passengers were landed and allowed to 
go on their way." 

A short time after, Thomas and eight of his men were 
recognized as passengers on board the Mary Washington, 
en route from Fair Haven, Anne Arundel County, to 
Baltimore. It happened that Captain Kirwan and two 
of his officers were passengers at the same time, as were 
also two police-officers who had gone to Fair Haven to 
arrest another man. The captain of the Mary "Washing 
ton, on making the discovery, was directed by the 
police-officers to land at Fort McIIenry. Perceiving 
this intention, Thomas boldly attempted to overawe the 
officers. He drew his pistol, and, calling his men to 
his aid, peremptorily demanded that the boat should 
proceed up to Baltimore. But the party of officers 
and passengers against him was too strong, and Thomas 
was compelled to keep quiet. When the steamer 
reached Fort McIIenry, the commanding officer was in 
formed of the capture of Thomas, and sent a guard to 
receive and confine him. But he had disappeared, and 
could not be found for over an hour, when he was at 
last dragged from a bureau-drawer in the ladies cabin. 


Being small in stature he had managed thus to conceal 

During his confinement in Fort Lafayette he was 
constantly making trouble in some way. He once actu 
ally attempted to escape by throwing himself overboard, 
although he could not swim, with nothing to depend on 
but some empty tin cans arranged for floats. 



Scott s plan opposed to invasion His proposed campaign down the Missis 
sippi " On to Richmond ! " An anxious night A panic Order out of 

IN the early part of secession, General Scott was much 
opposed to fighting a battle within the seceded States, or 
to any display of military force which would lead to one. 
He reasoned that there were many Union and many neu 
tral people in all the States, who, if they had time, would 
assert their principles and eventually overrule the more 
active secessionists. He frequently expressed himself to 
the President, and other influential men, in these terms : 
" If you will maintain a strict blockade on the sea-coast, 
collect your revenues on board cutters at the mouths of 
the harbors, and send a force down the Mississippi suffi 
ciently strong to open and keep it free along its course to 
its mouth, you will thus cut off the luxuries to which the 
people are accustomed ; and when they feel this pressure, 
not having been exasperated by attacks made on them 


within their respective States, the Union spirit will assert 
itself ; those who are on the fence will descend on the 
Union side, and I will guarantee that in one year from 
this time all difficulties will be settled. But, if you invade 
the South at any point, I will guarantee that at the end 
of a year you will be further from a settlement than you 
are now." 

The general s plan for the Mississippi was, to have 
gunboats built for the purpose, and to organize an army 
of Western volunteers, the whole force to rendezvous at 
Cairo, Illinois. McClellan was his choice for the com 
mand ; Rosecrans, and some other " rough-vigor fel 
lows," as he styled them, to have subordinate com 
mands. I had often heard him detail this plan, and, 
on his declaring his intention of corresponding with 
General McClellan about it, I offered to draft the let 
ter. I think it no mean compliment that the general 
should have assented, for he was always in the habit 
of doing such things himself. How much was left of 
my draft of the letter may be seen by the copy (Ap 
pendix D), with the alterations which the general made 
with his own hand. His erasures and interlineations 
were made with red ink. 

In answer to the cry, " On to Richmond ! " General 
Scott used to say that he was familiar with the country 
to be passed over ; that it was hardly possible for inex 
perienced troops to make the march. They would have 
to haul all their supplies with them, for " they would find 
every house deserted ; not a cow, or a chicken, or an ac 
cidental pig on the entire route." The bridges would be 
all broken down, and the marshy banks would prevent 
their being forded without becoming perfect quagmires. 


These delays and discouragements would be too much 
for undisciplined volunteers. 

But, at last, the pressure for an advance upon Rich 
mond became so great that the general, in deference to 
the wishes of higher authority, did all in his power to 
make preparations which would lead to success. Briga 
dier-General McDowell had served for some years on 
General Scott s staff, and was therefore well known to 
him. McDowell, having been assigned to the command 
which was eventually to fight the battle of Bull Run, was 
directed to prepare a plan for a movement toward Manas- 
sas, with estimates of the force he would need, and for 
all his supplies. The plan was to include a possible bat 
tle. While McDowell, with headquarters at Arlington 
Heights, was organizing and disciplining his regiments, 
he matured his plans, and made maps to illustrate them. 
They were repeatedly gone over with General Scott, until 
they were brought into the best possible shape. Then he 
was invited to unfold them to the President, in presence 
of the Cabinet, General Scott and his staff, and others, of 
whom General Fremont was one. The President received 
the company in the library of the Executive Mansion. 
General McDowell spread his map on the table, and 
demonstrated his plan with a clearness and precision that 
would have done credit to any West-Pointer at his last 
annual examination. Criticisms were invited from any 
one present ; and the President specially asked General 
Fremont if he found any objection, or could suggest any 
improvement. !N"ot a word was offered, and the whole 
scheme was approved. From that time active prepara 
tions were made for the movements which culminated in 
the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861. 


The entire night of that 21st of July was spent by the 
President and Cabinet, and some military officers, at Gen- 
eral Scott s quarters. The telegraph-office in the War 
Department, a short distance off, was in momentary re 
ceipt of dispatches from the field. At first, the success 
of the Union arms seemed assured. Then came tidings 
of a reverse ; then of a panic, and rout. Then followed 
in quick succession details of the disaster, and rumors, 
with earnest appeals to guard the capital. I sat near the 
door of the general s room, to receive and read aloud the 
messages as they were delivered. At last came one in 
which the death of Colonel Cameron, brother of the Sec 
retary of War, was reported. As I read aloud, not know 
ing what was to follow, I pronounced the words : " Colo 
nel Cameron " and then perceived that the sentence im 
mediately came, " was killed." I had just time to stop 
abruptly, look at the Secretary a moment, and then finish 
the sentence in a low voice. This was the only prepara 
tion for the shocking announcement of his brother s death 
that could be given. 

The following day was for a time a scene of such con 
fusion and panic as required no ordinary nerve to encoun 
ter. General Scott was firm and unwavering as a rock. 
When reports were brought him that the rebels were ad 
vancing unopposed on Washington, and would soon be 
on the Long Bridge, the old soldier would calmly look at 
the informant and reply : " It is impossible, sir ! We are 
now tasting the first fruits of a war, and learning what a 
panic is. We must be prepared for all kinds of rumors. 
Why, sir, we shall soon hear that Jefferson Davis has 
crossed the Long Bridge at the head of a brigade of ele 
phants, and is trampling our citizens under foot ! He has 

4iVL-H5ITY , J 




no brigade of elephants; lie can not by any possibility 
get a brigade of elephants ! " Thus from our general-in- 
chief emanated a remedy for panic which soon began to 
tell. We knew that there were some brigades, the one 
composed of the regulars, the one commanded by Colonel 
Keyes, and others, which remained entire, and occupied 
positions guarding the approaches to Washington. Mean 
time the general s aides occupied themselves in bringing 
order out of chaos. Placards were posted in conspicuous 
places designating rendezvous for the several organiza 
tions, and commanding all officers and men immediately 
to repair to them. As men straggled individually, or in 
squads, into town, they were directed where to go, and 
rations were provided for them there. Some of the gen 
eral s staff went round to the hotels, and peremptorily 
ordered all the officers they found there to join their 
regiments immediately, on pain of arrest, their names 
and regiments being taken down. In this way, by night 
fall things assumed a more orderly shape, and patrols, 
kept up throughout the day and night, soon suppressed 
all fear of disorders. For a time, however, there is little 
doubt that, had a squad of men, mounted on ~black horses* 
appeared on the Long Bridge, or in the streets of the city, 
there would have been a stampede worthy of a flock of 

The discussion of this battle is left to those who as 
sume to write a strictly military history. There were 
fruitful elements of failure, however, without attributing 
blame to any one concerned. Panics will sometimes un 
accountably seize the bravest veteran troops. What won- 

* The Virginia troop of " Black-horse " had been a bugbear for some 


der, then, that this great panic should have overtaken bri 
gades and divisions composed of regiments some of which 
had not been three weeks in service, and were not suffi 
ciently drilled to be able to wheel from a flank-march into 
line without breaking their ranks ; brigades and divisions 
which had never been manoeuvred as such, and which 
never saw the officers sent to command them until on the 
night before, or on the very morning of, the battle ! It is 
rather a matter of wonder that an army should have done 
even so well, under such circumstances, as this one did at 
the outset. 



General McClellan Discipline of volunteers Scott s choice for general-in- 
chief His complaint against McClellan McClellan succeeds Scott 
His tribute to Scott Halleck succeeds McClellan An order bewitched. 

IMMEDIATELY after the battle of Bull Run, General 
McClellan was summoned to Washington by the Secre 
tary of War. In compliance with orders from the same 
source, he assumed his first command near Washington, 
under the title of the " Division of the Potomac," July 27, 
1861. On his arrival in Washington he had a long inter 
view with General Scott at his quarters. I was not pres 
ent in the room, but waited outside to get a chance for a 
word with him as he passed out. I had just time to say : 
" I want to give you a hint about the state of things here. 
You will find splendid material for soldiers sadly in need 
of discipline. You will be beset on all sides with appli- 


cations for passes, and all sorts of tilings, and if you yield 
to the pressure your whole time will be taken up at a 
desk, writing. You can from the outset avoid this ; an 
other officer can do it as well in your name. The troops 
want to see their commanding general, and to be often 
inspected and reviewed by him. Another thing : there is 
here a fine body of regulars ; I would keep that intact, as a 
sort of l Old Guard. It may some time save you a battle." 
He took what I said kindly. Perhaps he never thought of 
it again, but it is certain that he pursued exactly that 
course. His splendid military evolutions while organ 
izing and equipping his army will not soon be forgotten. 
Some of the volunteer regiments came to Washington 
admirably provided. There were, especially, two from 
New Hampshire. They had complete clothing, arms and 
accoutrements, and tents. Their wagons were arranged 
like store-rooms, with boxes for their various supplies. 
They had also very good bands of music. Their religious 
services were very impressive. The regiments were 
drawn up in a hollow square, with the chaplain in the 
middle, and, while the bands played hymns which he gave 
out, the men sang them. Their rendering of " Old Hun 
dred " was truly grand. But, with all this excellent ma 
terial, the want of military instruction was apparent in 
such incidents as this : It was no unusual thing to see a 
sentry, when an officer in uniform passed his post, seated 
on a stone, with his musket between his feet. On the 
approach of the officer, aware that some complimentary 
recognition was expected, he would awkwardly raise his 
hand to his cap, while he continued sitting. General 
McClellan was not long in changing all this, and in form 
ing a thoroughly disciplined army. 


McClellan was not General Scott s first choice for 
general-in-chief of the army, to succeed him on his retire 
ment. As the time approached when he purposed giving 
up the command, he frequently expressed anxiety to hear 
that General Halleck had arrived from California, where 
he had long been residing. He remarked that he should 
feel quite easy to turn over bis responsibilities to Halleck 
as major-general, commanding the army. While General 
Scott held McClellan in high estimation for some junior 
command, he preferred Halleck, as being ten years older, 
and therefore presumably having riper judgment, besides 
having known accomplishment in theoretical knowledge 
of military law and practice. 

The very day (July 22, 1861) that the Secretary of 
War, through the adjutant-general, telegraphed to Mc 
Clellan, at Beverly, Virginia " Circumstances make your 
presence here necessary. Charge Rosecrans, or some 
other general, with your present department, and corne 
hither without delay" General Scott, in ignorance of 
that dispatch, telegraphed to McClellan, " Remain in your 
command, instead of going to the valley of the Shenan- 
doah." General McClellan naturally felt when he took 
command of the Army of the Potomac, that he had been 
put in direct communication with the War Department, 
and he therefore did not always observe the " channels of 
correspondence " which were usual. General Scott soon 
observed this, and, not willing to have his authority ig 
nored so long as he remained general-in-chief, he gave 
me an autograph projet of a general order to issue, the 
last but one that went to the army in his name. It was 




WASHINGTON, September 16, 1861. 

There are irregularities in the correspondence of the 
army which need prompt correction. It is highly impor 
tant that junior officers on duty be not permitted to cor 
respond with the general-in-chief, or other commander, 
on current official business, except through intermediate 
commanders ; and the same rule applies to correspond 
ence with the President direct, or with him through the 
Secretary of War, unless it be by the special invitation 
or request of the President. 

By command of Lieutenant-General Scott : 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

General Scott afterward addressed a more pointed 
communication to the Secretary of War, in which his 
feelings as to General McClellan s course, and as to his 
choice of a successor, are unmistakably set forth : 


WASHINGTON, October 4, 1861. 

Hon. S. CAMERON, Secretary of War. 

SIE : You are, I believe, aware that I hailed the arri 
val here of Major-General McClellan as an event of happy 
consequence to the country and to the army. Indeed, if 
I did not call for him, I heartily approved of the sugges 
tion, and gave it the most cordial support. He, however, 
had hardly entered upon his new duties, when, encour 
aged to communicate directly with the President and 
certain members of the Cabinet, he in a few days for- 


got that he had any intermediate commander, and has 
now long prided himself in treating me with uniform 
neglect, running into disobedience of orders of the 
smaller matters neglects, though, in themselves, grave 
military offenses. I read and speak in the face of the 
following facts : 

To suppress irregularity, more conspicuous in Major- 
General McClellan than in any other officer, I publish the 
following facts : 

[Here follows General Orders 17, above quoted.] 

With this order fresh in his memory, Major-General 
McClellan addressed two important communications to 
the Secretary of War, on respectively the 19th and 20th 
of the same month, over my head, and how many since 
to the Secretary, and even to the President direct, I have 
not inquired, but many, I have no doubt, besides daily 
oral communications with the same high functionaries, 
all without my knowledge. 

Second. To correct another class of grave neglects, I 
the same day caused to be addressed to Major-General 
McClellan the following order : 


WASHINGTON, September 16, 1861. 

To Major-General MCCLELLAN, U. S. Army, command 
ing the Department of the Potomac : 
The commanding general of the Army of the Poto 
mac will cause the position, state, and number of troops 
under him to be reported at once to general headquar 
ters, by divisions, brigades, and independent regiments 
or detachments, which general report will be followed 
by reports of new troops as they arrive, with the dispo- 


sitions made of them, together with all the material 
changes which may take place in said army. 
By command of Lieutenant-General Scott : 

(Signed) E. D. TOWNSEND, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Eighteen days have now elapsed, and not the slightest 
response has been shown to either of these orders by Ma 
jor-General McClellan. Perhaps he will say, in respect 
to the latter, it has been difficult for him to procure the 
exact returns of divisions and brigades. But why not have 
given me proximate returns, such as he so eagerly fur 
nished the President and certain Secretaries ? Has, then, 
a senior no corrective power over a junior officer in case 
of such persistent neglect and disobedience ? 

The remedy by arrest and trial before a court-martial 
would probably soon cure the evil. But it has been 
feared that a conflict of authority near the head of the 
army would be highly encouraging to the enemies and 
depressing to the friends of the Union. Hence my long 
forbearance ; and continuing, though but nominally, on 
duty, I shall try to hold out till the arrival of Major- 
General Halleck, when, as his presence will give me 
increased confidence in the safety of the Union, and be 
ing, as I am, unable to ride in the saddle, or to walk, by 
reason of dropsy in my feet and legs and paralysis in the 
small of the back, I shall definitely retire from the com 
mand of the army. 

I have the honor to remain, with high respect, your 
most obedient servant, 



Thus the old war-chief to the last asserted his au 
thority, and illustrated the maxim of " the ruling passion 
strong in death." 

Meantime, McCleilan went on acquiring more and 
more popularity as the " young Napoleon of our army." 
On General Scott s retirement, General Orders, No. 94, of 
November 1, 1861, announced that "the President is 
pleased to direct that Major-General George B. McCleilan 
assume command of the Army of the United States." 
This constituted him general-in-chief vice Scott. In 
assuming the command, McCleilan, in General Orders, 
No. 19, of November 1, 1861, thus gracefully alluded to 
the retiring lieutenant-general : 

" The army will unite with me in the feeling of re 
gret that the weight of many years, and the effect of 
increasing infirmities, contracted and intensified in his 
country s service, should just now remove from our head 
the great soldier of our nation the hero who in his youth 
raised high the reputation of his country on the fields of 
Canada, which he hallowed with his blood ; who in more 
mature years proved to the world that American skill 
and valor could repeat, if not eclipse, the exploits of Cortez 
in the land of the Montezumas ; whose life has been de 
voted to the service of his country ; whose whole efforts 
have been directed to uphold our honor at the smallest 
sacrifice of life a warrior who scorned the selfish glories 
of the battle-field when his great abilities as a statesman 
could be employed more profitably for his country ; a 
citizen who in his declining years has given to the world 
the most shining instance of loyalty in disregarding all ties 
of birth and clinging still to the cause of truth and honor. 
Such has been the career, such the character, of WINFIELD 


SCOTT, whom it has long been the delight of the nation 
to honor, both as a man and a soldier. While we regret 
his loss, there is one thing we can not regret the bright 
example he has left for our emulation. Let us all hope 
and pray that his declining years may be passed in peace 
and happiness, and that they may be cheered by the suc 
cess of the country and the cause he has fought for and 
loved so well. Beyond all that, let us do nothing that 
can cause him to blush for us ; let no defeat of the army 
he has so long commanded embitter his last years, but 
let our victories illuminate the close of a life so grand." 
General McClellan s command of the whole army was 
terminated by the " President s "War Order, No. 3," dated 
" Executive Mansion, Washington, March 11, 1862," as 
follows : 

"Major-General McClellan having personally taken 
the field at the head of the Army of the Potomac, until 
otherwise ordered, he is relieved from the command of 
the other military departments, he retaining command of 
the Department of the Potomac." 

The Government now thought it would try its own 
hand at commanding-in-chief. This lasted until July 11, 
1862, when the following order issued from the Execu 
tive Office : 

" Ordered, That Major-General Henry W. Halleck be 
assigned to command the whole land-forces of the United 
States, as general-in-chief ; and that he repair to this cap 
ital so soon as he can with safety to the positions and 

* General Scott died the 29th of May, 1866. He thus lived to fulfill 
this devout and eloquent prayer. 


operations within the department now under his special 

After the Peninsular campaign, when the Army of the 
Potomac was withdrawn, and principally merged in Gen 
eral Pope s army, General McClellan was for a time left 
without any defined command. On the 2d of Septem 
ber, 1862, a draft of an order was received from Gen 
eral Halleck s office in the following form, and was duly 
issued accordingly : 



WASHINGTON, September 2, 1862. 

By direction of the President, Major-General McClel 
lan will have command of the fortifications of Washing 
ton, and of all the troops for the defense of the capital. 
By order of the Secretary of War : 


Assistant Adjutant- General. 

In this form copies were made, and some of the morn 
ing papers published the order. Later in the day, a 
memorandum from General Halleck s office directed that 
the form of the order be corrected so that it would read 
as follows : 



WASHINGTON, September 2, 1862. 

Major-Gen eral McClellan wall have command of the 
fortifications of Washington, and of all the troops for the 
defense of the capital. 

By command of Major-General Halleck : 


Assistant Adjutant- General. 


The difference in form consisted in omitting allusion 
to the authority of the President and of the Secretary of 
War, and substituting that of General-in-Chief Halleck. 

There was probably some supposed political signifi 
cance attached to this. At any rate, Secretary Stanton, 
by whose directions the order had already been given to 
the newspapers for publication, desired me to see that 
the order in the new form should appear in all the pa 
pers which had already published it, and that the Wash 
ington " Evening Star " should be sure to have it in the 
corrected form. I accordingly saw the editor of the 
"Evening Star," handed him a copy, communicated to 
him the Secretary s wish, and cautioned him against the 
possible contingency of the order having been already set 
up in its erroneous form from & morning paper. He 
promised to see to it, and I returned to the department 
satisfied that no mistake could possibly occur. To my 
amazement, in the afternoon the Secretary handed me a 
copy of the " Star," in which was the order in the objec 
tionable form. Going to the " Star " office, I taxed the 
editor with not heeding what I had tried to impress upon 
him. He sent for a copy of the paper, then lying on the 
counter for sale, and I confess to being somewhat dazed 
when I there saw the order unmistakably in its right 
form. I began to think, for the first time, that there 
must be some truth in the existence of witches. The ex 
planation was, that the order had been copied from the 
morning papers, and a very few proof copies of the 
"Star" had been struck off before the correction was 
made, which was immediately done when my manuscript 
was received, and all the main edition of the paper was 
quite correct. As luck would have it, the few copies of 


first proof fell into the hands of the newsboy who had 
sold one to the Secretary s messenger ! 

This circumstance illustrates the untiring vigilance 
which Mr. Stan ton exercised over even comparatively 
trivial matters under his control. 


Object of demonstration on Leesburg Rigorous treatment of General 
Stone The secret history Colonel Raymond Lee General Stone at 
Red River Colonel Bailey s engineering Capture and recovery of his 
vote of thanks. 

IN the fall of 1861, Brigadier-General Charles P. 
Stone proposed to General Scott to permit him to take a 
brigade and make a demonstration along the line of the 
canal toward Harper s Ferry. Extensive flour-mills in 
Georgetown, upon which we mainly depended for bread- 
stuffs, were owned by friends of Stone, and from them 
he learned that the fine wheat-harvest in the Leesburg 
district could probably be brought into Georgetown, if a 
show of force were made by the Government, under color 
of which the farmers might sell their harvest to their 
usual customers. Stone thought that such a demon 
stration, besides guarding the canal, might be continued 
toward Harper s Ferry, so as to co-operate with the col 
umn opposite that point, in compelling the Confederates 
to evacuate Harper s Ferry, then held by them. And so 
it resulted. 


The disastrous action of Leesburg, or Ball s Bluff, Oc 
tober 21, 1861, in which Colonel E. D. Baker was killed, 
has given rise to much controversy. Stone was arrested 
soon after, and for a long time was kept in close confine 
ment. Indeed, from that hour bad fortune seemed to 
persecute him until it broke him up, and forced him out 
of the service. 

Whatever may be the true military aspect of his case, 
there must have been some reason, not openly declared, 
for the rigorous and unusual treatment to which he was 
so long subjected. Perhaps a clew may be found to it in 
the following facts : A part of Stone s command was 
composed of Massachusetts regiments.* Being strongly 

* After the " Ball s Bluff " affair, a reference was made in the papers to 
the colonel of the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment, which, being quite 
characteristic of the man, deserves to be perpetuated. It was as follows : 

" Colonel Raymond Lee and staff were furnished with a skiff to make 
their escape. The colonel gallantly refused, and gave orders to use it for 
conveying the wounded across the river. It was filled with wounded, who 
reached the Maryland shore in safety, and the humane and gallant officer 
was taken prisoner." 

Colonel Lee was taken to Richmond and confined as a prisoner of war 
in Libby Prison. A sequel to this incident was given in a Boston paper of 
July, 1882, and is authentic: 

" On the 10th of November, 1861, General Winder, with his staff, vis 
ited the officers prison, and read to the prisoners an order from Benjamin, 
the Confederate States Secretary of War, directing the selection of seven 
officers of highest rank, to be held as hostages for the officers and crew of 
the letter of marque Lady Jeff Davis, who had been convicted of piracy 
in a United States court. Those selected were to be confined in a cell of 
the common jail, and to be executed, if the officers of the privateer were 
executed by the United States Government. Slips of paper containing the 
names of all the officers were placed in a tin tobacco-box, and the fated 
names were drawn from the box upon command of General Winder by ex- 
Congressman Ely, who was captured at the first battle of Bull Run, and 
was confined with the Union officers. General Lee, then Colonel Lee, was 


opposed to slavery, some of the men expected Stone, also 
a Massachusetts man, to take active part against it. In 
those early days of the war, the question of the negro 
status was a very troublesome one. No authority what 
ever had yet been assumed by the General Government 
which militated against the Constitution as it then stood. 
It was deemed of the first importance to treat the border 
slave States, not in secession, with much caution on this 
delicate point. They were to be held in the Union by 
careful policy, as well as by military occupancy. Accord 
ingly, the orders given the several commanders of our 
forces were to surrender to their owners any slaves found 
by their masters in our camps, and claimed by them, pro 
vided they belonged to States not in rebellion. All who 
escaped from the rebel States were held to be free, as 
" contraband " of war. 

It happened, when Stone s forces retreated across the 
river from Leesburg, that some few colored men came 

one of the c elected, and the slip of paper drawn from the box designating 
him had on it only the words Colonel Lee. The fate of the officers se 
lected was not then determined, being contingent upon the action of the 
United States authorities with regard to the convicted people of the Lady 
Jeff Davis. This slip of paper with his name upon it was given to Colonel 
Lee, who indorsed upon the back of it that it was the ballot he drew in the 
lottery of life and death, and put it in a letter written to his family, which 
was allowed to be forwarded. 

" On the 14th of November the officers designated as hostages were re 
moved to the county jail, where they were detained about three months 
under rather disagreeable conditions. About the middle of February, 1862, 
the Confederate States Government, having received information that the 
Lady Jeff Davis people had been remanded as prisoners of war, the host 
ages were transferred from the jail to the prison assigned to prisoners of 
war, and on the 22d of that month they were put on board a flag-of-truce 
boat to be transferred to a United States steamer in neutral waters." 


over with them. I personally had from two of them the 
following statement: These men were brothers to an 
admirable free woman who lived in my family as nurse. 
The rest of her family belonged to a Mr. Smart, who 
owned a large mill at Leesburg. The woman, being at 
the North with my family, sent to ask me to give her 
two brothers some of her wages, they being then at the 
house of a relative in Georgetown. I went for the pur 
pose, saw the men, and asked them to tell me the facts 
about their coming over the river at the time of Stone s 
retreat. They said they became mixed up with the troops 
in their retreat across the river, and hardly knew how 
they happened to go over ; that General Stone sent for 
them and told them they were perfectly free to go where 
they pleased, and that, if they desired, they could be em 
ployed in the camp. They replied that they did not 
come over intentionally ; that Mr. Smart was a good mas 
ter, and allowed them often to work for themselves ; that 
he had a considerable sum of their money in his keeping ; 
that their parents, wives, and children were all in Lees- 
burg, and they wanted to go back to them. General 
Stone then promised to send them over with a flag of 
truce he was about to dispatch, and they returned of their 
own free-will. 

Some of the Massachusetts volunteers, hearing that 
these men had been sent back, wrote to Governor An 
drew, complaining that this United States officer was sur 
rendering fugitive slaves to their masters. Governor 
Andrew sent orders to his colonels not to permit any 
slaves who took refuge within their camps to be surren 
dered. He also wrote a strong remonstrance against such 
policy by the Government, to the Massachusetts Senator, 


Sumner. General Stone, having been shown Governor 
Andrew s instructions to the Massachusetts colonels, wrote 
to the Adjutant-General of the Army protesting that 
those regiments, having been mustered into the service 
of the General Government, and placed under his com 
mand by lawful authority, could not be permitted to re 
ceive instructions from the Governor of the State, from 
whose control they had entirely passed. This letter was 
rather injudiciously forwarded to Governor Andrew by 
the adjutant -general, though never intended by the 
writer for the Governor s eye. Senator Sumner, on re 
ceipt of the Governor s remonstrance, denounced General 
Stone on the floor of the Senate. Thereupon, Stone 
wrote him a strong letter, justifying himself, and remon 
strating against being thus arraigned in a place where he 
could not defend himself. This brought a storm about 
Stone s ears, and there were even many persons who at 
last became convinced that he was disloyal. The many 
political friends of Colonel Baker, seriously feeling his 
loss, were perhaps ready to believe anything to the preju 
dice of the leader of the ill-fated expedition which cost 
his life. Stone s rigorous incarceration may have been 
due to these causes. At all events, he was held without 
trial, although he repeatedly and earnestly asked for the 
charges against him, and for an inquiry or trial. 

At length he was released from arrest, though suffered 
to remain without a command, until in April, 1863, Gen 
eral Banks, who was commanding an army in the South 
west, wrote to the general-in-chief, Halleck, urging the 
pressing need of general officers of experience, and ear 
nestly requesting that Brigadier-General Charles P. Stone 
be ordered to report to him immediately. lie added that 


he had entire confidence in General Stone s zeal and 
ability, and would himself be responsible for his con 
duct. Upon this, Stone was ordered to General Banks. 
He became his chief of staff, and it is said to be 
greatly due to his skill and indefatigable exertions that 
the Red River disaster was not even more serious than 
it was. 

A fleet of gunboats co-operated with General Banks 
in his Red River expedition, in May, 1864. Owing to a 
fall in the water, the boats came near being lost above the 
falls, at Alexandria, but they were extricated by "the in 
defatigable exertions of Lieutenant-Colonel Bailey (Fourth 
Wisconsin Volunteers), acting engineer of the Nineteenth 
Army Corps, who proposed and built a tree-dam of six 
hundred feet across the river at the lower falls, which en 
abled all the vessels to pass in safety the back-water of the 
Mississippi, reaching Alexandria, and allowed them to 
pass over the shoals and the obstructions planted by the 
enemy to a point of safety." 

For this valuable service Colonel Bailey received a 
vote of thanks by Congress. I had the resolutions ele 
gantly engrossed on parchment by one of the clerks in 
the adjutant-general s office, who was an accomplished 
penman an artist in his way and sent them to Colonel 
Bailey, in a tin case made for the purpose, with his name 
conspicuously painted on the outside. It is probable a 
vessel, by which the case was sent over part of the route, 
was captured by a rebel cruiser. The receipt of it was 
not acknowledged by Colonel Bailey. A year afterward 
a rebel vessel was captured by a United States war- 
steamer off Cuba. Among the articles found in her 
was the tin case containing Colonel Bailey s resolutions. 


It was forwarded to Washington, and again sent on 
its journey to its rightful owner, with a letter giving 
an account of its adventures. 



General Scott s retirement Disposal of his staff Detached duty of the 
adjutant-general Several candidates. 

THE interview between President Lincoln and his 
Cabinet and General Scott, which took place at the gen 
eral s quarters, in the afternoon of November 1, 1861, 
when he retired from active service, under the provisions 
of a special act of Congress, was one of the most impres 
sive ever witnessed. (The act and interesting correspond 
ence relating to the retirement will be found in Appen 
dix E.) 

The general s military family accompanied him to 
New York, and bade him farewell on board the steamer 
in which he embarked for France. 

Some of the staff supposed, from the terms of Presi 
dent Lincoln s pledge, that they were in some way to be 
personally attached as a military family to the commander- 
in-chief of the army and navy. The President, however, 
fully redeemed his promise to provide for them, by asking 
what they desired, and granting their requests. Colonel 
Van Kensselaer was made inspector-general in the regular 
army, and besides bre vetted brigadier-general. The other 
aides received appointments as general officers of United 


States volunteers, except Colonel "Wright, who was a 
major of the regular cavalry, and was retained as addi 
tional aide-de-camp, with rank of colonel, to General Mc- 
Clellan. I returned somewhat later than the rest of the 
general s staff, and after they had been provided for, 
having to collect and forward to Washington the records 
of army headquarters, which had been left in New York. 
On reporting to the President, he asked what I desired. 
I replied that I did not think it right to indicate for what 
duty I was most required, but was ready for any orders 
that might be given me. The President remarked that 
doubtless the chief of my department would suitably as 
sign me ; so I then went to report to the new general-in- 
chief, General McClellan, fully expecting to follow Gen 
erals Cullum and Hamilton, who had gone to join Gen 
eral Halleck in the Army of the West. When General 
McClellan directed me to report to Adjutant-General L. 
Thomas for duty in the office, I could not forbear saying, 
" General, I have been a long time on duty there, and 
hoped now to have a turn in the field." The general re 
plied that my peculiar experience was needed to system 
atize matters in the office, which had fallen into confu 

The army had suddenly grown from ten thousand to 
over one hundred thousand, and the business had pro 
portionally augmented. Several newly appointed officers 
of the department had gone on duty there for a few 
weeks, and, before they had time to learn the routine, 
had been detached to the field. Colonel Garesche than 
whom no better officer or purer man ever lived had 
been the senior assistant, and, though he labored inces 
santly, it was impossible for him to keep up with the 


general business, aided only by inexperienced officers, 
while he at the same time was in charge of the immense 
and complicated branch of the military commissions. Ac 
cordingly, the mails of several days were unopened ; 
piles of letters, some of which had been acted on and 
others not, were all mixed together in confusion. The 
few clerks were struggling on, without system or much 
concert, to dispose of what pressed most at the moment. 
The rooms and hall were filled during office hours with 
volunteers from the front, who came to get sick-leaves, 
or discharges, each one, in his impatience to go home, 
clamoring for the earliest attention. It required a week 
of extra hours work to clear away the wreck and assort 
the papers. Then the duties of the clerks were arranged 
so that two would not be doing the same thing while 
other things were left undone. The military hospitals 
in and around the city supplied abundance of superior 
clerks, who had left banks and counting-houses to vol 
unteer, but whose physique was not equal to their ambi 
tion for the exposed life of a soldier. So, in a few 
weeks, matters were in such shape that no business need 
be neglected. 

Adjutant-General Thomas had a very difficult place to 
fill. Secretary Cameron relied on him greatly in the 
management of military affairs, so suddenly and so vastly 
brought into the most prominent of all functions of the 
Government. It was at that time thought important that 
as much eclat as possible should be given to the arrival 
of volunteer regiments which came to re-enforce the army, 
and the adjutant-general was called upon to make ad 
dresses, present flags, etc., at the various camps around 
the capital. This state of things threw much of the im- 


mediate conduct of the office upon me as the senior as 

When the Hon. Edwin M. Stanton became Secretary 
of War, affairs had settled down to stern work, and glori 
fying ceased to be such a prominent element in military 
life. It happened that one day, at about one o clock, 
Mr. Stanton sent word that he desired to see the adju 
tant-general. I answered the call, saying : " The adjutant- 
general has stepped out for a moment ; can I do what 
you require ? " He replied, " It appears to me he steps 
out quite often"; and then he handed me a paper he 
wished attended to. After this he often sent for me in 
dividually, and at last, in March, 1863, he ordered Gen 
eral Thomas away to muster out a large body of volun 
teers at Harrisburg. As soon as he returned from this 
duty, the Secretary found some other detached service 
for him. Finally, he sent him to Kentucky, and other 
States, with a roving commission to organize colored regi 
ments, and look after abandoned lands and property. He 
did not come back to the office, and I was thus informally 
left in charge. This was a most uncertain and conse 
quently embarrassing position to be placed in, and the 
only course was to do whatever seemed right, without 
waiting to ascertain what were the views of the adjutant- 
general, when he should return. 

The first intimation that this was to be a permanent 
arrangement was, when one day the Secretary sent for me 
to be introduced to a certain prominent gentleman, to 
whom I was requested to administer the oath of office as 
a brigadier-general of volunteers. The Secretary then re 
marked, " I wish you to know Colonel Townsend, for you 
will receive orders from him as adjutant-general." It 


has since transpired that Mr. Stanton was early dissatis 
fied with General Thomas for some reason, and looked 
around to find some one suitable to put in his place. He 
gave situations in the War Office to several persons, prob 
ably with a view to having them on trial, meanwhile leav 
ing me in charge of the adjutant-general s office as the 
senior assistant. It would seem that he was once very near 
appointing a colonel of the line, who had applied for the 
place, and had been highly recommended to him. He 
introduced this officer to me, and instructed me to put 
one of my juniors in the office, with all his clerks, under 
his orders, and to give him any other assistance he might 
call for. Something made me suspect that this was a 
first step toward giving this colonel of the line full charge 
over the whole adjutant-general s office. So I waited un 
til he had withdrawn, when I said : " Mr. Secretary, it is 
necessary that I should clearly understand what relations 
Colonel is to bear to my office. He can not law 
fully exercise any of the functions of the adjutant-gen 
eral, which are defined by statute. In the personal ab 
sence of the head of the department, his duties devolve 
properly upon his next junior, and, as such junior, I can 
not receive orders from a colonel of the line. The assist 
ant adjutant-general, whom you have directed to report 

to Colonel , has some of the duties which by law 

are under the adjutant-general ; do you intend that Colo 
nel shall now have supervision over them ? " The 

Secretary replied curtly that he should require all officers 
to obey his orders. In answer, I made no question on 
that point, but said it was necessary, in such an unusual 
and rather complicated arrangement, that I should fully 
understand the intent and scope of his orders, and that 


he should be informed what their bearing would be. 
Meanwhile, the Secretary had time to ponder what I had 
said. He then told me he had brought Colonel - 
into the War Office to take charge of a class of business 
that required more attention than I could give it ; that 
there were claims enough set up against the Government 
for military supplies, etc., to swamp the Treasury, if the 
just were not separated from the unjust ; and he expected 
me and the officers under me to help Colonel - in 
examining them, in every way we could. To this, of 
course, I assented, the more readily as that class of cases 
was quite foreign to my duties. Colonel was sup 
plied with two or three clerks; his business at once 
took such a shape that neither he nor I interfered with 
each other, and we continued for several years in the 
most harmonious relations. Whatever were the Secre 
tary s original intentions, the result was perfectly satis 
factory to me, for I was never superseded, but enjoyed 
to a gratifying extent the " great War Secretary s " confi 

Eiding with Secretary Stanton in his carriage, at the 
funeral of General Totten, Chief of Engineers, in April, 
1864, I alluded to an interview with him on a certain 
Sunday in July, 1862, before I had really been placed in 
charge of the adjutant-general s office, when I pleaded 
with him to let me go from the department to field-ser 
vice according with my rank. He remembered the cir 
cumstance, and that he had then complimented me by 
saying that my long familiarity with the working not 
only of his department, but of other branches of the 
Government, was too necessary to him to allow him to 
comply. He remarked that no reproach could justly at- 


tach to me for the line of duty in which I had been 
employed ; that no officer had been more laborious from 
first to last, and that I had successfully met a weight 
of responsibility which could be appreciated only by a 
few persons. 

Such commendation ought, perhaps, in reason, to be 
considered as sufficient justification for having foregone 
the more ambitious pursuit of fame in a more brilliant 
but not more useful sphere of professional service ; espe 
cially as it came from one of the most exacting of public 



Killed in battle Official announcement of his death His charities Deco 
rated by the Pope A priest s eulogium. 

WHILE commanding the Department of the Cumber 
land, in 1862, General Rosecrans sent an urgent request 
that Colonel Garesche might be ordered to report to him. 
Garesche added his own wish to this solicitation, and he 
was ordered. He arrived in time to be of material assist 
ance in organizing the army which, after varied fortunes, 
defeated Bragg at Stone River. In a brief dispatch from 
that battle-field, General Rosecrans said, "We have to 
deplore the loss of Lieutenant-Colonel Garesche, whose 
capacity and gentlemanly deportment had already en 
deared him to all the officers of this command, and whose 
gallantry on the field of battle excited their admiration. 

At the outbreak of the rebellion he was the senior 


assistant in the adjutant-general s office. In announcing 
his death to the officers of his department the adjutant- 
general said : 

" His ability and untiring industry have left their im 
press on the elaborate records over which he presided ; 
and the universal and unfeigned regret at his loss, so 
freely expressed by all who came in contact with him, is 
a touching evidence of his value as an officer and his 
worth as a man. Just and uncompromising in his official 
conduct, he was yet courteous, obliging, and affable. Pos 
sessing a chivalric spirit, with a high order of professional 
attainment, he hastened to embrace the first opportunity 
given him to enter on a more brilliant sphere of action, 
and reported to Major-General Rosecrans as his chosen 
chief of staff, in time to render essential aid in organizing 
the army with which the field of Murfreesboro was won. 
At a critical moment, on the 31st of December, when 
the general, with his staff, dashed forward to restore the 
tide of battle, which was turning against our arms, f the 
noble Colonel Garesche was instantly killed by a cannon- 

" What lot can be more enviable to a soldier than his ! 
Of singularly spotless private character, faithful in the 
observance of his obligations as a Christian, and devoted 
in his leisure hours to the exercise of benevolent acts, 
honored and beloved in his profession, he died as a true 
hero, and is mourned with a depth and sincerity of grief 
not often betrayed." 

Garesche was a very devout Roman Catholic, and 
fully lived up to his professions. There was no end to his 
unostentatious charities, which he usually performed after 
his tedious office-hours were over. He started the so- 


ciety of St. Vincent de Paul in Washington, and was one 
of its most active members, visiting and ministering to 
the poor and the sick. It is related of him that, at the 
risk of his own life, he once held in his arms an infant 
belonging to a poor family, while a priest baptized it, 
though the child was ill of small-pox. The Pope was in 
formed of his extraordinary zeal, and sent him a medal 
of some charitable order. This he always wore on his 

His remains were brought to Washington for inter 
ment. There they were honored with an imposing fu 
neral, attended by an immense concourse. The ceremo 
nies took place at St. Aloysius Church. The presiding 
priest pronounced an eloquent eulogium upon him, in 
which he thus described his death : 

" The battle, which had raged furiously, was going 
against our arms, and all seemed lost. Colonel Garesch6 
had used almost superhuman efforts to cheer on the 
troops, and, seeing that they were yielding ground, he re 
tired for a brief space to some bushes, where he was per 
ceived kneeling as in earnest prayer. It is believed 
that he then offered up his own life as a sacrifice, if 
God would give him a victory. Immediately after, 
General Rosecrans and himself received the blessed 
sacrament, from a priest who attended the army as 
chaplain to the general. Colonel Garesch6 then rushed 
into the thickest of the fight, and was killed by a can 
non-ball, which took off his head. Thus he fell, while 
at that moment the body and blood of his Lord was 
coursing through his veins." 



Generous spirit of Burnside and Lincoln Plain language to Hooker Swap 
ping horses while crossing a river. 

THE battle of Antietam, Maryland, was fought by the 
Army of the Potomac, under General McClellan, Septem 
ber 16 and 17, 1862. General Burnside was ordered to 
relieve General McClellan November 5, 1862. He com 
manded at the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 
1862. In his preliminary report to General Halleck, he 
explained the reasons why he had moved sooner and on 
a different plan from what had been indicated by the 
President, and attributed his want of success to fog and 
other unexpected causes of delay, which gave the enemy 
time to concentrate his forces. With singular frankness 
he says : 

" To the brave officers and soldiers who accomplished 
the feat of thus recrossing in the face of the enemy, I 
owe everything ; for the failure in the attack I am re 
sponsible, as the extreme gallantry, courage, and endur 
ance shown by them were never exceeded, and would 
have carried the point had it been possible. 

" The fact that I decided to move from Warrenton on 
to this line, rather against the opinion of the President, 
Secretary, and yourself, and that you have left the whole 
movement in my hands without giving me orders, makes 
me the more responsible." 

President Lincoln, not to be outdone in generosity, 


published, from the Executive Mansion, this address to 
the Army of the Potomac : 

"I have just read your commanding general s pre 
liminary report of the battle of Fredericksburg. Al 
though you were not successful, the attempt was not an 
error, nor the failure other than an accident. The cour 
age with which you, in an open field, maintained the con 
test against an intrenched foe, and the consummate skill 
and success with which you crossed and recrossed the 
river, in face of the enemy, show that you possess all the 
qualities of a great army, which will yet give victory to 
the cause of the country and of popular government. 
Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympa 
thizing with the severely wounded, I congratulate you 
that the number of both is comparatively so small. 

" I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of 
the nation. ABRAHAM LINCOLN." 

January 25, 1863, the President relieved General 
Burnside from the command, at his own request, and 
assigned General Hooker in his stead. Hooker was 
wounded at Antietam, and was for a time at St. Eliza 
beth Hospital, near Washington. There were rumors 
about town, immediately after Antietam, that McClellan 
was to be removed ; and it was persistently averred that 
Hooker would succeed him. But Burnside came first, 
and Hooker relieved Burnside the 26th of January, 1863. 

On that same day the President addressed to General 
Hooker that singular communication, in which he told 

" You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, 


does good rather than harm ; but I think that, during 
General Burnside s command of the army, you have taken 
counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as 
you could, in which you did a great wrong to the coun 
try and to a most meritorious and honorable brother offi 
cer. I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your 
recently saying that both the army and the govern 
ment needed a dictator. Of course it was not for this, 
but in spite of this, that I have given you the command. 
Only those generals who gain successes can set up dicta 
tors. What I now ask of you is military success, and I 
will risk the dictatorship." 

"When Hooker had made his grand movement across 
the river to Chancellorsville, by which he put his army 
between Lee and Richmond, compelling Lee to offer him 
the chance for a flank attack in his retreat, he issued a 
short order, saying : 

" It is with heart-felt satisfaction the commanding 
general announces to the army that the operations of the 
last three days have determined that our enemy must 
either ingloriously fly, or come out from behind his de 
fenses and give us battle on our own ground, where cer 
tain destruction awaits him." 

Did not this give promise of the "military success" 
asked by the President? Happening to meet General 
Totten, Chief of Engineers, the morning after, he told me 
that he had been depressed by the failure of so many en 
terprises of late, but Hooker s order had quite put him in 
heart again. I was a classmate of Hooker s, and knew 
him too well to participate in General Totten s hopeful 
ness. 1 remarked that it was certainly a masterly move 
ment that had placed the Army of the Potomac in its 


present position, but I was afraid Hooker, though brave, 
and a good corps commander, had not the ready genius 
to be able to manage an army on the battle-field, against 
either Jackson, Longstreet, or Lee, singly, and still less 
against all three together. Alas ! so it happened. 

This first prognostication having been justified by the 
event, there was good reason for apprehension when it 
was known that Lee s army was in full march toward 
Maryland and Pennsylvania, and that Hooker was hasten 
ing to intercept it. 

On the 27th of June the Secretary desired me to de 
tail an officer to carry dispatches to the Army of the Poto 
mac. He was to report at the department at seven o clock 
in the evening. I thought it well for me to be there 
also at that time, and was accordingly ready to sign an 
order, which General Hal leek brought to my room for 
that purpose. It is a good rule never to sign a paper 
without looking at its purport, so I read : 

" By direction of the President, Major-General Joseph 
Hooker is relieved from the command of the Army of the 
Potomac, and Major-General George G. Meade is ap 
pointed to the command of that army, and of the troops 
temporarily assigned to duty with it." 

As he left the room, General Halleck said, " That is 
a good order, isn t it ? " To which I replied, " This is 
the first time I have drawn a long breath for several 

The general who won the great battle of Gettysburg 
was thus invested with his command while his army was 
in full march toward the field of battle, and while he 
was in ignorance of the strength or whereabouts of the 
different corps composing it. " An exception proves the 


rule," they say ; so Mr. Lincoln happily this time made 
an exception to his rule, " It is a bad plan to swap horses 
while crossing a river." 



A cavalry rifle The nervous traveler and the donkey " There is a man 
in there ! " 

ONE day, I went to the Executive Office to see the 
President on some business. There were two other per 
sons in the room. One was apparently a Western farmer, 
who had a sort of breech-loading rifle he had invented for 
cavalry service. Though he was not a mechanic, his gun 
showed much ingenuity and some originality. He was 
eager to exhibit it to the President, while the latter was 
anxious to converse with his other visitor. The Presi 
dent greeted me in his cheery manner, and said I had 
come just in time to examine the new invention, and ad 
vise the man, better than he could, what to do with it. I 
drew the inventor to the farther side of the room, and 
heard the explanation of his weapon, and all his story 
about it. 

It consisted of a common musket-barrel, bent in a 
curve so as to pass over the shoulder, and thus serve at 
once as a stock to the rifle and a sling to suspend it by. 
This part of the rifle was also a magazine which would car 
ry some twelve or fifteen cartridges. A spiral spring was 
arranged inside, so that every time a cartridge slid into 
the chamber from the magazine, another was pressed into 


its place ready for the next loading. At the junction of 
the barrel with the magazine-stock were the lock and the 
chamber, which received one cartridge all ready for dis 
charge. By pressing a small button, a spring was pushed 
back so that the stock part could be made to turn just far 
enough to admit of a cartridge sliding from the magazine 
into the chamber. The communication between the mag 
azine and chamber was shut off when the stock returned 
to its place, and the spring connected with the button 
flew back and fastened it securely. Thus, the rifle hang 
ing over the shoulder, muzzle down the man s arm pass 
ing through the curved stock would be instantly loaded, 
with one hand, by pressing the button, turning the stock 
long enough for a cartridge to slide from the magazine 
to the chamber, and then letting it fly back to its place. 
By raising the piece with the arm on which it was 
suspended, and pressing it against a brace across the 
curved stock, which fitted the shoulder, aim could be 
taken and the trigger pulled. I hardly thought the in 
vention would stand the test of a certain number of dis 
charges, as our service arms have to do, and really did not 
feel willing to be the first to fire it off ; but I listened with 
much interest to the owner, and then advised him to 
show it to the chief of ordnance, who was accustomed to 
examine such things, and who would tell him whether it 
would answer the purpose. The man bade the President 
good-day, and went out, so far well pleased. I never 
heard of his gun again, so it was not adopted. 

After the inventor had gone, and the President had 
finished his conversation, in a recess by a window, with 
his other visitor, he related to us one of his characteristic 
stories. There was a gentleman traveling for his health, 


who was suffering greatly from nervousness and want of 
sleep. While journeying in Egypt, he was terribly an 
noyed by the braying of a donkey, used in transporting 
his baggage, which was tied every night near his tent. 
At last the dragoman told the master of transportation 
that his donkey must be kept at a distance, where his 
noise would not disturb their employer. Whereupon the 
man proceeded to stop the braying by tying a string with 
a heavy stone attached to the donkey s tail. The donkey 
immediately dropped his ears, hung his head, and re 
mained quiet through the night. The next morning, 
when the stone was taken off, the donkey raised his head, 
shook his ears, and gave one good, long bray, like Baron 
Munchausen s trumpet when the frozen tunes thawed 
out.* I do not remember the application which Mr. 
Lincoln made of this story. 

An old friend of Mr. Lincoln once related to me 
another of his stories which shows not a little of his char 
acter. This gentleman was conversing with the President 
at a time during the war when things looked very dark. 
On taking leave, he asked the President what he should 
say to their friends in Kentucky what cheering news he 
could give them of him. Mr. Lincoln replied : " That 
reminds me of a man who prided himself greatly on his 
game of chess, having seldom been beaten. He heard of 
a machine, called the Automaton Chess-Player, which 
was beating every one who played against it. So he 
went to try his skill with the machine. He lost the first 
game, so with the second, and the third. Then, rising 
in astonishment from his seat, he walked around the ma- 

* The baron s marvelous story of the trumpet proves, after all, to have 
been only a prophetic vision of the modern phonograph. 


chine and looked at it a few minutes. Then, stopping 
and pointing at it, he exclaimed, i There is a man in there ! 
Tell my friends," said Mr. Lincoln, drawing himself up 
to his full height, " there is a man in here ! " 

This was no spirit of bravado. It was to reassure his 
friends, by showing them that he was not wavering or 
discouraged, but was determined to rise above every ad 
verse event, and act his part manfully. It was on such 
occasions, w T hen a great resolve was uppermost in his 
mind, that the true majesty of Mr. Lincoln appeared in 
his face and form. I think Yinnie Ream failed in her 
statue, representing him as presenting his Emancipation 
Proclamation to the world, by overlooking this trait. 
The statue, with head somewhat bowed, and a look as of 
doubt, does not seem to bring out the stern and lofty sen 
timent which, at such a moment, his whole presence, 
head erect, and mouth compressed, would have exhibited ; 
showing that he realized the full responsibility, and cou 
rageously assumed it. 



Quakers Isaac s mode of warfare A woman in man s clothes A kind 
Southern woman A secret society " Knights of the Golden Circle " 
Grenfel Release of Confederate prisoners A Southern clergyman 
Greetings from the North Chaplains Bounty-jumpers I. C. V. R. 

THE FRIENDS. The draft sometimes brought me in 
contact with a class of citizens who do not often resort to 
the War Department of the Government. The law did 


not, at first, absolutely exempt any one on account of re 
ligious scruples, for it would have been easy to manufac 
ture such things to order. But, after every draft, Isaac 
Newton, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, 
who was a Quaker, was sure to usher in a pleasant-looking 
party of his Friends, to ask the discharge of some rela 
tives, because of their creed, which was averse to war. 
They were always reasonable, and quiet in their earnest 
ness, and seldom failed to effect their object. It some 
times happened that the young men drafted would be sent 
to the field before their release could be obtained. There 
were instances in which they passively underwent stern 
punishment, obeying everything they were told to do, ex 
cept to go through any of the forms of using weapons. 
Some of these cases were so genuine that they were quite 
touching, and awakened strong sympathy. The difficulty 
lay in discriminating between those who were Quakers 
indeed and Quakers by pretense. But whenever the 
worthy Isaac appeared, with a band of his brothers and 
sisters, clad in their plain garb, the men never removing 
their hats, and all addressing one as "thou" and " thee," 
the cases were always genuine. One of the elder men, 
who came with a party on this errand, was afterward a 
member of a Quaker committee in charge of some West 
ern Indians, under General Grant s plan of parceling the 
tribes among different religious denominations. This 
man never failed to drop in for a friendly chat, whenever 
he was called to Washington on his Indian business. 

Isaac Newton dressed in ordinary citizen s clothes. 
He was a burly old gentleman, and seemed always in a 
good humor. Speaking once of scruples about fighting, 
I asked him if he believed it proper strictly to carry out 


the letter of Scripture, and under no circumstances to re 
sist. "Oh, no," said he, "there are other ways of 
resisting besides fighting." Then he related an incident, 
where he met a man in a wagon, at a narrow part of the 
road, and the man, seeing he was a Quaker, refused to 
turn out for him, but stopped directly in the road. Isaac 
asked him kindly to turn out, and the man gruffly re 
fused. Then he said, " Friend, if thou wilt not turn thy 
horse, I will turn him for thee." So he took the horse s 
head to turn him, when the man jumped out and ran as 
if to attack him. On this, Isaac seized him by the arms 
above the elbow, held him as if in a vice, and quietly 
said, " Friend, if thou dost resist, I will shake thee." So 
he gave him a shake as a sample, and the man, perceiving 
how powerful and resolute the Quaker was, apologized, 
and turned his horse as far out as he could. " I did not 
strike him ! " said Isaac. 

A FEMALE SPY. In war-time as in peace, very ludi 
crous things sometimes happen, as well as things most 
serious. Among the distinguished individuals confined 
in the Old Capitol Prison, at Washington, was a young 
female who was arrested in man s clothes, which it was 
supposed she had donned as a cloak for her assumed 
office of spy. She was a good secessionist, at any rate, 
and had no friends in the city to supply her with appro 
priate clothing, so she had to remain as she was. It was 
at last reported to me that she was very much mortified 
about her raiment, and kept in bed all the time rather 
than appear in it, after she had been detected. Out of 
respect to her sex, I mentioned her dilemma to that most 
worthy, true-hearted Presbyterian divine, Dr. John C. 


Smith, and suggested that his wife might be disposed, as 
a charity, to visit the little spy, and provide her with fe 
male apparel. Some time after, the doctor told me that 
Mrs. Smith had been to see the woman, had found her in 
bed, and much mortified at her. condition ; but in the 
course of the interview she had betrayed such a bitter, 
rebellious spirit, and hatred of the Government, that Mrs. 
Smith was disgusted with her, and came away declaring 
she might remain in bed, or wear her male garb until it 
dropped off, before she would minister to such a temper. 
I do not know what afterward became of her. 

A REFUGEE. Soon after the close of the war, a mid 
dle-aged woman, from North Carolina, came to "Washing 
ton, on her way to Cincinnati. She had two stout, 
healthy-looking children, a boy and girl. She was loyal 
throughout the war, and was noted for her kindness to 
the Union prisoners who were kept at Salisbury. On 
one occasion, when a party was going by her door, on the 
way to be exchanged, a poor, weak, emaciated fellow was 
thrown down by the throng, and trampled upon so that 
he was taken up nearly dead. This good woman took 
him into her house, and tenderly nursed him, until in a 
few days death came to his relief. She then buried him 
in her own garden, had his grave nicely sodded, and a 
paling put around it. 

As she could find no means of support in her native 
State, she was going North, in hopes of getting employ 
ment. Ascertaining that her resources were exhausted, 
the Secretary of War gave her some pecuniary aid, and 
transportation to Ohio. 

It is not improbable that this woman belonged to a 


secret society, which operated in Western North Carolina 
and East Tennessee, where there were many Union peo 
ple. The society had forms of initiations, and signs, by 
which its members recognized each other. Its object in 
general was to aid and- endeavor to restore the Union. 
Many soldiers of the Confederate armies worked with it, 
and quite a number of Union prisoners of war escaped 
and were concealed and safely guided within the Union 
lines by its means. It was said that President Lincoln 
knew of it, and was even initiated as a member. 

GRENFEL. A secret organization, composed of disaf 
fected persons both in the North and South, existed 
throughout the war. It went under various names, such 
as " Knights of the Golden Circle," " Order of American 
Knights," " Sons of Liberty," etc. Its objects were to 
aid in every possible way the cause of disunion. It had 
both a civil and a military organization, under a regular 
system of government. The fruits of the civil branch 
were often seen, but, although the military branch was 
ready at any time to take part, the opportunity did not 
present itself within the Union lines. Some of its mem 
bers were officers of the Confederate service. Its plan, 
constitution, and secret signs became known in 1864, and 
were discovered through the confessions of members 
under arrest, through documents, and through other 
means. In the summer of 1864 a plot was concocted to 
release over eight thousand Confederate prisoners of war, 
who were held at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois. 
After their release, they were to engage in pillaging and 
burning the city. A considerable number of persons, 
known to be in active sympathy with the South, were ob- 


served to be in Chicago, about the time of the convention 
which met there in August. As a precaution, a re-en 
forcement was sent to the guard at the prison-camp, which 
thwarted the designs upon it. Afterward, at the time of 
the election in November, the presence again in the city 
of noted rebels, and certain positive information which 
had been gained of the plot, induced the Government to 
arrest some seven or eight of the leaders and bring them 
to trial before a military commission. Quite a large 
amount of arms and ammunition was seized at the time 
of the arrest. 

Among the persons arrested in November was a Colo 
nel G-. St. Leger Grenfel, an Englishman, one of those 
many foreign adventurers who came to this country to 
take part with one side or the other. The charges on 
which he was tried were, conspiring, in violation of 
the laws of war, to release the rebel prisoners of war 
confined, by authority of the United States, at Camp 
Douglas, near Chicago, Illinois ; and conspiring, in vio 
lation of the laws of war, to lay waste and destroy the 
city of Chicago. He pleaded not guilty, but was con 
victed, and sentenced to be hanged. The British minister 
and others interested themselves for him, and strong ef 
forts were made to get him off entirely. The President 
commuted his sentence to imprisonment for life, at hard 
labor, at the Dry Tortugas, Florida, and he was accord 
ingly sent there. 

Grenfel was a fine-looking man, with the manners of 
a rather pompous gentleman. He was very bad-tem 
pered, and disposed to give all the trouble he could. At 
the Tortugas, his hard labor consisted in the care of a 
small vegetable-garden, planted for the benefit of the 


prisoners. This lie destroyed by watering with salt water. 
He abused every indulgence which was vouchsafed to 
him through the solicitation of friends abroad. At length, 
he used money sent him, and which he was permitted to 
receive to ameliorate his condition, in bribing a sentry. 
One very stormy night in March, 1878, he, with the sen 
try and three other prisoners, escaped from the island in 
a small boat. Their departure was soon discovered, and 
a revenue-cutter, which was lying at the Tortugas, cruised 
for several days in every direction, to capture them, but 
without success. The United States consuls at Ha 
vana and other places on the coast were instructed by 
telegraph to look out for the fugitives, but they were 
never after heard of. It is supposed that their craft was 
swamped in the violent storm, and in that dark night 
they all perished. About a year after, inquiry was made 
by Grenfel s relatives in Europe for him, which indicates 
that he did not return to his own country, and increases 
the probability that he was drowned. 

About the time of Grenfel s escape, an absurd report 
was started that the United States Government had been 
keeping over one thousand Confederate prisoners of war 
confined at the Dry Tortugas. Inquiries were made of 
the Government concerning missing relatives supposed 
to be among those prisoners. The fact is, all Confeder 
ate prisoners of war were set free by exchange, or on pa 
role, as soon as fighting had fairly ceased in 1865. 

A SOUTHERN CLERGYMAN. In 1861, before non-inter 
course between the two sections was rigidly enforced, a 
certain clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
came from Philadelphia, where he had a parish, and called 


upon General Scott, asking a pass to go to Richmond. 
He said he was a native Virginian, and that he thought, 
if he returned to Richmond to stay, he might do some 
good in alleviating the troubles of war, especially among 
the colored population. The pass was given, and he went 

In 1865, after fighting was over, this gentleman came 
again to Washington, and was introduced to me by a former 
acquaintance. He spoke of the deep concern which the 
Southern Episcopalians felt about their future relations 
with the Church at the North. The war had forced 
them into an apparent separation, but, now that the 
causes were removed, what would be exacted of them to 
secure a reunion ? He had received very many letters 
from all parts of the Southern States, asking information 
and advice. 

The General Convention was to sit at Philadelphia, 
in October of that year. I unhesitatingly replied to the 
reverend gentleman that there was no manner of doubt 
that the only thing his Southern brethren had to do was 
to repair at the proper time to Philadelphia, and quietly 
take their seats as usual, the bishops in the House of 
Bishops, and the clerical and lay delegates in their House. 
I was certain that, if they would go, the only question 
would be not are you sorry for what you have done, 
but have you come sure enough to fill your vacant 
places? I told him they would be received with open 
arms ; and, in proof of my position, instanced the many 
strong expressions I had heard from public men, like 
Messrs. Stanton and Henry Wilson, of a desire that all 
the people of the South would with alacrity return to a 
cordial support of the Union, without coercion, or penal- 


ties of any sort. He took leave with many protestations 
of gratitude, and declared he should go back to his peo 
ple with my words of encouragement, and urge them 
to do as I suggested. A few weeks after, I saw him 
again in Washington, when he presented me with a copy 
of the address of the Bishop of Virginia to his diocesan 
convention, in which the bishop recommended the elec 
tion of delegates to the approaching General Conven 
tion. He told me that many churchmen at the South 
had received the assurances I had given him with great 
satisfaction, and that it had gone far to relieve their 

When the General Convention assembled, some few 
of the Southern churchmen attended, simply as specta 
tors. Wherever they were recognized they were most 
cordially received. In the Upper House a bishop dis 
covered one of his Southern brethren in a pew of the 
church. After a short, whispered conference with the 
few nearest him, he rose, went to the pew, seized his old 
friend by the hand, and insisted that he should accom 
pany him back to his seat. There he was met by the 
entire body with unfeigned joy, and urged to take his 
seat as one of them. 

This session of the General Convention, in 1865, was 
made memorable by the reunion of all the dioceses of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. 
The Kt. Rev. R. H. Wilmer, who had been consecrated 
under the constitution of the Southern Church during the 
war, was recognized as of the Episcopate, on his merely 
signing an equivalent to the usual promise of conformity. 
The Bishop-elect of Tennessee was consecrated, without 
the delay of submitting his name to each separate dio- 


cese; and this was the easy adjustment of all external 
appearance of division. 

SOME CHAPLAINS. In the plan of organization adopted 
by authority of the President,* one chaplain was allowed 
to each regiment of volunteers, to be " appointed by the 
regimental commander on the vote of the field officers 
and company commanders on duty with the regiment at 
the time." There was a provision added that " the 
chaplain so appointed must be a regularly ordained min 
ister of some Christian denomination." This last clause 
was not always properly heeded ; and so it came to pass 
that, although as a rule army chaplains were fit and ear 
nest men, some were occasionally invested with the office 
who had little appreciation of its spirit, and no training 
in the execution of its duties. 

The uniform prescribed for chaplains was a plain 
black frock-coat, with standing collar, and one row of 
nine black buttons ; plain black pantaloons, black felt hat, 
or army forage-cap, without ornament. On occasions of 
ceremony, a plain u chapeau-de-bras " was authorized to 
be worn. 

The exceeding simplicity of this dress did not suit 
some of the reverend gentlemen, and a deputation called 
at the office to have it changed. I asked them what they 
desired. They replied that brass buttons, shoulder-straps, 
a cap ornament, a sash, and a sword, were necessary to 
facilitate the performance of their duties, and cause them 
to be respected. I asked how that dress, especially the 
sword, would aid them in conducting religious services ? 

* General Orders, No. 15, dated May 4, 1861, legalized by section 3, act 
of August 6, 1861. 


and how they would use the sword ? They said that when 
they were officiating at service the sword would be laid 
aside ; but now, when they entered a hospital, they were 
not recognized by the patients, who would pay no heed 
to them, and they wanted to be known as officers having 
authority. " Oh," said I, " if you should walk to the bed 
side of some poor, wounded soldier, arrayed in your shin 
ing buttons and sash and sword, would he not suppose that 
you were the officer of the day coming to carry him off 
to the guard-house, and be terribly frightened at the idea ? 
I rather think if you are known to the men by your good 
words, kind offices, and gentle sympathy with them in 
their trials, the plain black dress will secure you more re 
spect than the showy one." Whether they were satisfied 
or not, they did not continue the argument. The uniform 
which had been adopted was actually suggested by a cler 
gyman, well known for his zeal and devotion to the good 
cause. With the addition of a little black braid, and a 
cap ornament, it is that now worn by army chaplains. 

Two venerable men, whose loyalty to the Union de 
prived them, in their advanced age, of their only support, 
were cared for by the fostering hand of the United States 
Government during their remaining years. One was the 
Kev. Matthias Harris, post-chaplain at Fort Moultrie, who 
was with Anderson at Sumter. Having lost his place 
by the evacuation of that post, he was made post chaplain 
at Fort Foote, Maryland. The other was the Rev. Lem 
uel Wilmer, who, because he " had never in his life drawn 
a disloyal breath," was forsaken by his congregation. On 
learning of his straitened circumstances, the Department 
created Port Tobacco, Maryland, a chaplain post, and 
appointed him its chaplain. 


BOUNTY-JUMPERS. A great evil connected with the 
draft and substitute system for recruiting the army arose 
from the practice, which at one time prevailed to a large 
extent, of what was called "bounty-jumping." When 
volunteering began to fail, after nearly every patriotic 
able-bodied man had entered the service, the draft was 
resorted to. But, whenever notice of a draft was about 
to be published, very considerable bounties were first 
offered, both by the Government and by States, for vol 
unteers. Drafted men were also allowed to procure sub 
stitutes, whom they paid. All the men recruited by 
volunteering and by draft, or substitute, were collected 
at large depots * preparatory to being sent to regiments 
in the field. These men often had large sums of money 
in their pockets, received in the way of bounties, and it 
became quite a business with sharpers to disguise them 
selves, pass an examination at a recruiting rendezvous, 
receive the bounty or substitute money, desert from the 
depot, and then repeat the operation over and over again, 
under other names and disguises. Of course their tricks 
were soon detected, and numbers were arrested and kept 
in confinement. Photographs were taken of some of the 
most noted of these criminals, both at the time of their 
enlistment, when, clean shaved and furbished, they passed 

* The guards at these draft rendezvous were composed of " veteran 
reserve " regiments, made up of men who had been disabled in the army, 
by wounds or otherwise, so as to be unable to bear the hardships of the 
field and camp, but all quite equal to duty required in a comfortable gar 
rison. These regiments were at first styled the " Invalid Corps," but an 
army regulation prescribed that articles of public property condemned by 
an inspector should be marked with the initials I. C., for " Inspected, Con 
demned." Therefore, the I. C. (Invalid Corps) regiments had their desig 
nation changed to V. R. (Veteran Reserve). 


for younger men ; and afterward, when the garnishing 
had faded, and they were exhibited in their true colors. 

To put an end to bounty-jumping, I devised a plan, 
in December, 1864, for taking away their money at the 
depot, depositing it with an army paymaster stationed 
there for the purpose, and giving them a check-book in 
which the amount was entered. They could then draw 
the amount exhibited on the check-book from a paymaster 
in the field, at their first payment after joining their regi 
ment. The paymaster who received the money credited 
the soldier with it on his accounts made to the Treasury, 
and the one who paid it charged it in his accounts, so that 
the two accounts were balanced in the settlement at the 
Treasury. The recruit received his bounty at the recruit 
ing rendezvous, and was never out of sight of a guard 
till he reached the depot ; so that he had no chance to con 
ceal it. Provision was made, under close restrictions, by 
which he could convey any portion of it to his family if 
he desired. 

When I first submitted this plan to the Secretary of 
War, he demurred at adopting it. I set forth the advan 
tageous features of it, and told him the Treasury officers 
assented to it, so far as they were concerned. A man 
who enlisted in good faith would not object to having 
his bounty safely kept for him till he wanted it ; while a 
bounty-jumper would not be willing to take the risk of 
escaping after he had been transported to the army. At 
last he said, " Well, if you choose to issue the order on 
your own responsibility, you may, but I will not have 
any trouble that may arise from it." That was enough ; 
the order was issued. The Secretary told me afterward 
that the Governor of one of the States, who had been 


most annoyed by bounty-jumpers, had thanked him for 
it, and characterized it as " the best order that had ema 
nated from the "War Department." 


How to legalize an illegal order. 

IN 1864 General Frank Blair, who had been serving 
as a major-general of volunteers, was elected to the House 
of Representatives. He resigned his commission and took 
his seat. In the month of April the Secretary of War 
handed me an order from the President, to be issued, 
assigning Major-General Blair to duty with the army un 
der General Sherman ; and directing that some regular 
officers be ordered to report to him as his staff, and that 
some civilians be appointed additional aides-de-camp for 
him. I glanced at the order, and then said : 

"Mr. Secretary, General Blair has resigned, and is 
now a civilian. He is not a major-general, and is not 
subject to an order." 

Secretary. Well, what of that ? 

General Townsend. Why, such an order can not be 
legally issued. 

Secretary. But the President orders it ! 

General T. (seeing something peculiar in the Secre 
tary s manner). Shall I issue it, then ? 

Secretary. I give you no orders about it ; there is the 
President s order. 


General T. But what am I to do ? It is not a legal 
order ; how can I issue it ? 

Secretary. I tell you, I have nothing to say about it. 
You must use your own discretion. 

General T. Won t you see the President, and explain 
the facts to him ? 

Secretary. ]STo ! 

General T. "What would you advise me to do, then ? 

Secretary. I give you no advice about it. 

General T. You are between the President and me, 
and I have to come to you in all cases. 

Secretary. In this case, I give you full authority to 
"use your own discretion. I have nothing more to say. 

General T. (perceiving that there had probably al 
ready been a discussion between the President and 
Secretary). Well, may I see the President about it ? 

Secretary. I tell you I have no orders to give you. 
You can do what you please. 

Accordingly, I took the order and went over to the 
Executive Mansion. The President was through with 
the urgent duties of the day, and was seated with his feet 
on a chair, a towel round his neck, while his servant was 
shampooing his head. 

Having been admitted, I said : " Mr. President, the 
Secretary has handed me this order, to assign General 
Blair to a command, and authorized me to come and see 
you about it. I thought you might not be aware that 
General Blair s resignation having been accepted, he can 
not be legally ordered to any military duty. He is now, 
as a civilian, not subject to orders." 

President. Well, I am anxious to have it fixed up 
some way, so the order can be issued, if you can do it. 


General T. There is only one way to do it. If Gen 
eral Blair will apply to have the acceptance of his res 
ignation revoked, I can issue an order revoking it, and 
then assign him to duty. There have been instances of 
that sort, and I will do it if you give me authority. 

President. I wish you would I wish you would. 
Just fix it any way you think best. 

I then returned to the department, and wrote a note 
to General Blair, asking him to call at the adjutant-gen 
eral s office, on business indicated to me by the President. 
He came, and I explained the matter to him. He said 
he was willing to do as the President desired. I then 
wrote letters for him to sign, asking that his resignation 
be revoked, and that he be assigned to a command. He 
signed them, and the order was handed him to report to 
General William T. Sherman, and to command the Sev 
enteenth Army Corps. 

In a few days, when it was known that Frank Blair 
had gone to take a command in the Army of the South, 
a resolution was passed in the Senate calling upon the 
President for information whether any officers whose 
resignations had been accepted had been put on duty; 
who such officers were, and under what circumstances 
they had been so assigned. The Secretary of "War then 
inquired what had been done in General Blair s case. I 
told him, and said, if he would give me the resolution, I 
would prepare an answer. So I took it, made copies of 
the letters General Blair had signed, and of the orders 
given him, and then cited several instances as precedents 
where similar action, during many years, had been taken 
with regular army officers. The Secretary, after examin 
ing my report very carefully, forwarded it. No more 


was heard about it, except that the Senate passed a reso 
lution that, thereafter, no officers whose resignations had 
been duly accepted should be restored to the service with 
out a new appointment and confirmation by the Senate. 

After this General Blair commanded the Seventeenth 
Army Corps, in Sherman s army, during the famous 
Southern campaign and "march to the sea," near the 
close of the war. No one will say that the President had 
cause to regret having called him to the army. Had he 
gone through the routine of again nominating him, and 
waited for his confirmation, too much valuable time would 
have been lost at that critical period. 


A false alarm President Lincoln s narrow escape. 

WHILE the Army of the Potomac was closely press 
ing on Richmond, in July, 1864, General Lee sought to 
divert some of its strength by sending a considerable 
force of cavalry and infantry, under Early, to threaten 
Washington. Intelligence was received of the raid on 
the 3d of July, and preparations were at once made for 
defense. There were but few troops around Washing 
ton at that time, and they were mostly veteran reserves. 
But, to meet emergencies, the clerks and employes of the 
War and some of the civil departments had been for sev 
eral months organized into regiments, and pretty care- 


fully drilled. These, and all of the large number of men 
in the hospitals, who were at all able to hold a musket, 
went to man the forts. 

One night, when there were indications that an attack 
would be made, I was on guard at the War Department. 
At three o clock in the morning, I heard loud cries in 
the street, sounding nearer and nearer to the department. 
My first impression was that Early s raiders had broken 
in and were coming to burn and pillage. As I walked 
rapidly from my room to the door at the other end of the 
hall, where the noise appeared to be, I had time to con 
sider what had better be done under the circumstances. 
The pass of Thermopylae would have been nothing to 
this occasion. Instead of a pass, there would have been 
a door; instead of three hundred defenders, there would 
have been three. A reconnaissance, however, would bet 
ter indicate the line and measure of defense. On open 
ing the door upon the street, a large herd of beef-cattle 
was seen wending its way to the commissary s corral, and 
the herders were making the outcry. These cattle had 
been pastured some miles out in Maryland, and narrowly 
escaped being captured by Early, Information of his 
approach was received just in time to save them. 

There had been no stampede in Washington. People 
did not seem to think there was much danger of a catas 
trophe. The Confederates felt some of the forts; and 
two or three houses under the guns of Fort Stevens, on 
the turnpike-road to Brookville, Maryland, were battered 
down, to dislodge some of the enemy s sharp-shooters who 
found shelter there while trying to pick off our gunners. 
It was related of President Lincoln that he rode out to 

Fort Bteyens while the skirmishing was going on, and, 


heedless of danger, mounted the parapet to get a good 
view. While standing there, his tall frame presenting a 
prominent target, a bullet passed between him and a 
young lady who was standing by his side, and quite near 
him. He was then induced to descend under cover. 

General Grant sent Wright s Sixth Corps up to re- 
enforce the Washington garrison. As soon as it arrived 
it threw out a line of skirmishers ; and, when the Con 
federates recognized its well-known badge, they drew 
off and took their departure, probably conceiving that 
they had effected the relief of Richmond. They after 
ward received due attention from Sheridan, who entirely 
destroyed this part of Lee s army in the Shenandoah 



Sheridan s black horse " To Early, in care of Sheridan " A big scare 
Lo, they were gone ! 

THE 19th of October, 1864, General Sheridan re 
ported : 

" My army at Cedar Creek was attacked this morning 
before daylight, and my left was turned and driven in 
confusion, with the loss of twenty pieces of artillery. 
I hastened from Winchester, where I was on my return 
from Washington, and found the armies between Middle- 
town and New^town, having been driven back about four 
miles. I here took the affair in hand and quickly united 


the corps, formed a compact line of battle just in time to 
repulse an attack of the enemy, which was handsomely 
done at 1 p. M. 

" At 3 P. M., after some changes of the cavalry from 
the left to the right flank, I attacked with great vigor, 
driving and routing the enemy, capturing, according to 
last report, forty-three pieces of artillery and very many 

An officer of Massachusetts Volunteers who was pres 
ent told me he saw General Sheridan when he met his 
retreating troops. His black horse, by which he was 
usually recognized, was so completely covered with 
foam as to appear like an animal with a white skin. 
This same officer told me that some pieces of artillery 
were sent from Richmond to the Confederate General 
Early, each one of which was labeled with his name. 
After Sheridan s defeat of Early, some wag wrote on the 
labels to the guns, under Early s name, the words, " Care 
of General Sheridan." 

General Sheridan sent the artillery captured on this 
occasion by rail to Washington. The Secretary of War 
determined to make a public display of these trophies, to 
give an idea of the magnitude of the victory. He ac 
cordingly instructed me to have them taken, on their 
arrival at the railroad depot, to the grounds in front 
of the War Department, and parked there. The tro 
phies arrived the 29th of October. An excellent volun 
teer regiment of artillery, stationed at Camp Barry in the 
outskirts of the city, had been ordered to receive them 
and put them in position. The officers of the regiment 
entered into the spirit of the affair, procured a band of 


music, and marched through the streets with much eclat, 
followed by the usual crowd. Some time was occupied, 
after the train arrived, in unloading the cars, and putting 
the carriages together, some of them being much broken ; 
and it was after dark when they reached the department. 
When all the arrangements were made to receive the 
guns, I rode on horseback to meet the regiment. Hav 
ing seen every gun and carriage in place, and posted 
sentinels around them with orders not to permit any 
one to go near or touch them, I went home. I had 
hardly reached there, when a messenger arrived saying 
the Secretary desired to see me, immediately, at the 
department. Some one had telegraphed to him at his 
residence that the ammunition-boxes were filled with 
powder, and he had hastened down in great alarm lest 
the w r hole department should be blown sky-high. He 
was much excited. He asked me why I had not dis 
covered that the boxes contained powder, and why I 
had not sent the carriages immediately to the arsenal. 
I replied that I had taken great precautions, which the 
result showed were effective, to prevent any one from 
carelessly opening the boxes ; that they were constructed 
on purpose to carry powder safely on the battle-field, and 
there was no danger of their exploding unless struck by a 
shell. I had not anticipated that the boxes would be sent 
all the way by cars from the place of their capture to 
Washington, without first having the ammunition re 
moved ; but, since they had gone thus far without acci 
dent, there did not now seem to be any cause for alarm. 
The Secretary s mind was so preoccupied with the idea 
of danger to the public buildings that it put him in a 
bad humor. He peremptorily ordered that the trophies 


should be immediately sent down to the Arsenal for 
safe-keeping, and that I should see it properly done. 
A messenger was dispatched for the same regiment to 
transport the things, and I sat in my office with another 
officer to await its arrival. Presently in came the depot 
quartermaster, to whom orders had been sent by the Sec 
retary to bring some mules with harness, to do the same 
work. The quartermaster seemed to be in a quandary 
about what he was required to do. He said he had 
plenty of mules and wagon-harness, but he did not see 
how it could be fitted to haul artillery-carriages. I told 
him the artillery regiment which brought them up would 
soon come to take them to the Arsenal ; and I did not 
believe mules and wagon-harness could be of any aid. 
Meanwhile, the Secretary, having had time to think 
a little, and recover from his apprehension, since no 
catastrophe had occurred for two hours, carne into my 
room in an altered mood. I gave him a chair, and he 
began chatting pleasantly about indifferent matters. I 
did not join in the conversation. Presently he asked 
the quartermaster where his dispatch-boat was. "At the 
wharf, sir, ready to fire up at a moment s warning." 
"Well," said the Secretary, "you must get her ready 
for an excursion down the river, and you and Town- 
send make up a party and go." Then, turning to me, 
he asked if I would not like to go. I was angry, and 
had good reason to be, so I replied, curtly, " I have 
no time for excursions." The Secretary said nothing 
more, but soon after went home. It was half-past one 
at night a cold, drizzling, rainy night before I saw 
the last remnant of the procession started on its way 
to its final resting-place. 


The next day was Sunday. Quite early in the morn 
ing the President walked out to enjoy the promised view 
of his trophies. His surprise at not finding them in front 
of the "War Department was probably equaled by that 
of a crowd of citizens who had assembled on the same 
errand, having heard the evening before that the guns 
were to be on exhibition. 



A Sunday service A salute at sea Conference with colored ministers 
Fort Fisher Promoted while asleep. 

vannah December 21, 1864. "One hundred and fifty 
heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 
twenty-five thousand bales of cotton," were reported 
captured. The health of the Secretary of War serious 
ly demanded the rest which a sea-voyage could best 
afford; he therefore determined to go to Savannah to 
confer with General Sherman, and take measures to se 
cure the large amount of cotton found there. Much of 
this cotton belonged to the Confederate Government, 
and was therefore lawful prize to the United States. 
Arrangements were made for a propeller which had 
been chartered to convey army supplies from New 
York to Savannah, to call at Old Point Comfort, Vir 
ginia, for the Secretary. Quartermaster-General Meigs, 
Surgeon-General Barnes, and myself accompanied him ; 


and Mr. Simeon Draper, of New York, who had held the 
appointment of Provost-Marshal-General of the War De 
partment,* joined the party in the propeller from New 

We sailed from Old Point Saturday, January 7, 1865. 
The next day, Secretary Stanton asked General Meigs to 
read a portion of the Episcopal Church service to our 
small party. He joined reverently in the service, and 
afterward commented on a passage of the Scriptures 
which had been read. 

The next day, as we neared Hilton Head, the steamer 
James Adger, of the blockading squadron, commanded 
by Captain (now Bear-Admiral) Thomas H. Patterson, 
U. S. Navy, made signal for us to hoist our colors. 
Our captain either did not understand the signal, or 
at any rate did not heed it, and kept on his course. 
The Adger then steered for us, and fired a shot across 
our bow, which of course brought us to, and made us 
show the Stars and Stripes. Captain Patterson, my 
relative, having recognized me standing on the deck 
as I waved my handkerchief to him, sent a boat to ask 
me aboard his ship. I wrote him a note regretting I 
could not go, as I was with the Secretary of War, who 
was aboard of us. Upon this, the Adger stood off, drew 
her shot, and fired the salute due a Cabinet officer. 
Probably this is the only instance where a Secretary 

* Mr. Draper was appointed Provost-Marshal-General October 1, 1862. 
His office was not the same as that afterward held by General Fry under 
the act of March 3, 1863, but was created by authority of the War Depart 
ment to supervise and manage the special provost-marshals employed in 
States to arrest deserters and disloyal persons, seize stolen property of the 
Government, detect spies, etc. Mr. Draper s appointment was annulled 
when General Fry was detailed according to law. 


of War was saluted while afloat by a United States 
ship of war. Mr. Stanton was asleep below when the 
salute was fired, but when told of it he was much pleased 
with the incident. 

While we were on the voyage, as I was sitting one 
day in the cabin, alone with the Secretary, he told me he 
felt much anxiety about the cotton which had been cap 
tured at Savannah. He had no doubt attempts would be 
made to appropriate it. There would be persons who 
would claim it as their private property, and it would 
be difficult to discriminate between what was really pri 
vate and what belonged to the Confederate Government. 
Then he said he wanted a general officer to command at 
Savannah, who would see to the safe-keeping and proper 
disposition of the cotton, and defend the city against mili 
tary movements to recapture it, which might probably be 
made after General Sherman s army left. He asked 
whom I could name for the purpose. I consulted the 
register, and found plenty of suitable names, but they 
were either too far off, or in positions where they were 
much needed. At last I mentioned one general whom I 
thought suitable, and the most available, though he too 
had an important command. The Secretary replied : " I 
can not withdraw him from so critical a command. If I 
could spare you, I would assign you." I exclaimed, " Me, 
sir ? " " Yes, you, sir ! " said he. I replied that nothing 
could be more agreeable to me than to have the assign 
ment. " But," said he, " I can not do without you where 
you are." 

After personally examining the stores containing the 
cotton, hearing private claims to certain lots, indicating 
the marks to be put on the bales, and what disposition 


should be made of them, the Secretary, on consultation 
with General Sherman, appointed Mr. Draper to have 
the charge of the cotton, and General John W. Geary, 
who belonged to Sherman s army, to be left in military 
command of Savannah when the army marched north 

Among the private claimants of cotton was Lamar, 
notorious as the man who once landed a cargo of negroes, 
imported direct from Africa, in the yacht Wanderer, on 
the shores of the United States. This gentleman at 
tempted to give much trouble in the disposal of the 
captured cotton. 

On Thursday, the 12th of January, General Sherman 
gave the Secretary a grand review of his army. In 
the evening of that day, by invitation of the Secre 
tary, twenty colored men, chiefly ministers of different 
churches, assembled in the Secretary s room, to give 
him their views concerning the present and future of 
their people. The minutes of this interview, as taken 
down at the time by the Secretary s own hand, will 
be found in Appendix F. I offered to act as amanu 
ensis, but he declined, and persisted in writing until 
after midnight. 

We sailed from Savannah Saturday, the 14th, leaving 
General Meigs and Mr. Draper behind, and spent Sunday 
at Hilton Head, with General Ruf us Saxton, commanding 
there, leaving for home that same evening. 

As we neared Fort Fisher, on the 16th of January, all 
eyes were strained to discover what had been the result 
of the combined attack of Admiral Porter and General 
Terry on that place. At first we could discern only 
a small flag floating over the fort, with no sign of 


cannonading. Our joy can be imagined when the 
Stars and Stripes became distinguishable. The Secre 
tary immediately decided to put in, to learn the particu 
lars of the capture, and congratulate the officers. On 
our arrival amid the ships, from which the smoke of 
battle had so recently cleared away, the Secretary com 
municated with General A. H. Terry, who at once came 
aboard with his staff. We learned that, at 3 p. M., the 
15th of January, the troops assaulted the fort, after 
heavy cannonading by the fleet. " The lighting for 
the traverses continued till nearly nine o clock, two 
more of them being carried ; then a portion of Ab 
bott s brigade drove the enemy from their last remain 
ing strongholds, and the occupation of the work was 
complete." After a long conversation, the Secretary 
directed me to make out letters conferring brevets on 
General Terry and his staff, which were all subsequently 
submitted to the Senate and confirmed. The general 
and his officers had scarcely slept for three days. It 
was now the middle of the evening, and Captain 
Adrian Terry, assistant adjutant - general, brother to 
the general, overpowered with fatigue, fell fast asleep. 
When the general, as he was about to withdraw, aroused 
Captain Terry, I slipped into his hand a document in 
closed in an official envelope. He was yet half asleep, 
and supposing I was serving a notice of arrest, or some 
thing, upon him for falling asleep in the Secretary s 
presence, he was evidently much troubled. When he 
opened the letter, however, he said, with a smile of 
gratification, "I do believe I went to sleep a captain, 
and have awakened a major ! " At this the Secretary 
and all laughed most heartily. 



Proclamation sent through the lines Good fruits " Dixie." 

ON the 8th of December, 1863, President Lincoln is 
sued a proclamation, to make known " to all persons who 
have, directly or by implication, participated in the exist 
ing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, that a full 
pardon is hereby granted to them, and each of them, with 
restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, 
and in property cases where rights of third parties shall 
have intervened, and upon the condition that every such 
person shall take and subscribe an oath, and thencefor 
ward keep and maintain said oath inviolate ; and which 
oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and 
shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit : 

" I, , do solemnly swear, in presence of 

Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, 
protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, 
and the union of the States thereunder ; and that I will, 
in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of 
Congress passed during the existing rebellion with refer 
ence to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modi 
fied, or held void by Congress or by decision of the Su 
preme Court ; and that I will, in like manner, abide by 
and faithfully support all proclamations of the President, 
made during the existing rebellion, having reference to 
slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared 


void by decision of the Supreme Court. So help me 
God. " 

The classes excepted from the pardon did not include 
the officers under the rank of general officers, or the rank 
and file of the Confederate army, unless they had left the 
United States army to join the rebels, or had committed 
certain specified offenses. 

On the 30th of December a dispatch was received 
from an officer on the Upper Potomac, saying : " Nine 
deserters from the Yalley just in ... These deserters 
heard the President s proclamation and required oath 
with great surprise, and declared, if it was printed and 
circulated, thousands would come into our lines." 

They were surprised to find the falsity of the state 
ments as to the humane policy and feeling of President 
Lincoln s administration, which had been from the begin 
ning so persistently impressed upon the Southern peo 
ple, exposed by this proclamation. In accordance with 
the suggestion in the dispatch, many thousands of copies 
of the proclamation were printed in convenient form and 
sent to commanders along the lines, to be distributed as 
opportunity offered. Large numbers were conveyed 
through the pickets, and in other ways. The good effect 
was announced in a dispatch dated January 23, 1864: 
" Ninety-seven deserters have reported at this post since 
the 1st of January. The President s amnesty is having 
good effect. I am scattering it all through the country." 

The following orders were afterward issued, and, to 
gether with the proclamation, were printed and folded in 
such small form that they could be easily concealed, and 
were profusely distributed : 




WASHINGTON, February 18, 1864. 


Whenever refugees from within the rebel lines, or 
deserters from the rebel armies, present themselves at 
United States camps, or military posts, they will be im 
mediately examined by the provost-marshal, with a view 
to determine their character and their motive in giving 
themselves up. If it appear that they are honest in their 
intention of forever deserting the rebel cause, care will 
be taken to explain to them that they will not be forced 
to serve in the United States army against the rebels, nor 
be kept in confinement. The President s proclamation 
of December 8, 1863, will be read to them, and, if they 
so desire, the oath therein prescribed will be administered 
to them. They will then be questioned as to whether 
they desire employment from the United States, and, if 
so, such arrangements as may be expedient will be made 
by the several army commanders for employing them on 
Government works within their commands. Those who 
come to the Army of the Potomac will be forwarded to 
the military governor of the District of Columbia, at 
Washington, with reports in their cases, that employment 
may be given them if desired, or, if not, that they may 
be sent as far north as Philadelphia. 

By order of the Secretary of War : 

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Among the deserters who surrendered was an entire 
military band, composed of foreigners, who came within 
the lines, bringing their instruments with them. They 


were sent to Washington, and went up to the War De 
partment to pay their respects to the Secretary of War. 
They played several airs for his amusement, and at last 
asked if there was any particular one he would like to 
hear. He called for one after another of our national 
airs, but they knew none of them! "Well," said he, 
" let us have * Dixie? then ; you probably can play that." 
So Dixie was rendered with due effect. This band went 
north, and doubtless found employment as musicians, 
though they certainly did not seem to possess extraordi 
nary skill in their art. 


Magic effect A perverse eagle. 

GENERAL WEITZEL S troops occupied Richmond April 
3, 1865. As soon as the news arrived at Washington, the 
Secretary of War gave orders for a grand illumination of 
all the buildings occupied by his department. He in 
trusted to me the arrangements for the War Department 
proper, for Winder s Building on Seventeenth Street, and 
the entire row of buildings from that to Pennsylvania 
Avenue, and two more north of the avenue. The Cor 
coran Art-Gallery, on the corner of President s Square 
and Seventeenth Street, then in use by the quartermaster- 
general, was prepared under his direction. All these 
formed a group of large buildings in close proximity. 
Two candles were placed in each pane of glass, and a 


man provided with matches was stationed at each win 
dow. Fire-balls were arranged in a row directly in front 
of the War Department, and men were near to light 
them. A military band was seated on the balcony over 
the north door. At a signal sounded with a trumpet on 
the corner of the street, the band struck up " The Star- 
spangled Banner," and, as if by magic, the windows of 
twelve buildings were suddenly ablaze, while columns of 
red, green, and blue transparent smoke floated over the 
front of the "War Department. So promptly was each 
match applied, that spectators wondered what mechanical 
process like lighting gas-jets by electricity could have 
been used in this instance. 

Thus far this undertaking was a success. But, after 
all, there was one failure. The Secretary had conceived 
the idea of having the word "Richmond" in a scroll, 
with an eagle clutching it with, his talons, in the act of 
rising on his outspread wings, painted on a transparency 
which was to be suspended over the top of the front bal 
cony. This was allegorically to represent the American 
eagle capturing the capital of the Confederacy. The 
painter employed, not being an artist of high culture, 
thought he would improve on the instructions given him, 
and, for the sake of more graceful curves, he represented 
the eagle soaring away with the end of the scroll in his 
beak. When the Secretary saw the production he was 
very much displeased, and would not commend the gen 
eral effect of the illumination ; but there was not time 
enough, after the transparency was finished, to have 
another painted. As it was, the public, who remained 
in ignorance of the intended design, were well satisfied 
with the entire spectacle. 


For my part, anxiety lest an unfortunate spark should 
turn my illumination into a most expensive bonfire of in 
valuable records prevented any enjoyment, until, by per 
sonally and carefully inspecting every room after the 
lights were all extinguished, I was assured that every 
thing was safe. 



Mr. Stanton s suspension Not sustained General L. Thomas appointed 
ad interim Mr. Stanton resists Colloquy A lawyer s ruse " Stand 
firm ! " Neutral ground Another ad interim A new Secretary. 

ON Monday morning, August 5, 1867, President John 
son invited Mr. Stanton to resign as Secretary of War. 
Under the tenure-of-civil-office law, Mr. Stanton de 
clined. The President, a week after, suspended him, 
and appointed General Grant, General-in-Chief of the 
Army, to exercise the functions. This continued until 
January 13, 1868, when, according to the law, the Senate 
passed a resolution not sustaining the President s action. 
The next morning, General Grant came to my office and 
handed me the key of the Secretary s room, saying : " I 
am to be found over at my office at army headquarters. 
I was served with a copy of the Senate resolution last 
evening." I then went up-stairs and delivered the key 
of his room to Mr. Stanton. 

On Thursday, February 13, 1868, President Johnson 
addressed to General Grant a letter, saying he desired 
Major-General L. Thomas to resume his duties as Adju- 


tant-General of the Army. This proved to be a prelimi 
nary step to another attempt to remove Mr. Stanton from 
the department. It was intended to bring the question 
of the constitutionality of the tenure-of-office law before 
the Supreme Court of the United States, in the course of 
the controversy which was expected to arise. General 
Thomas resumed charge of the adjutant-general s office, 
February 14th, after an absence of nearly five years. He 
was very kind, and invited me to continue my desk in 
his room. On the 19th he asked me to look up certain 
laws relating to the tenure of civil office, saying that the 
President desired him to examine them. He then told 
me, in strict confidence, that the President thought of in 
vesting him with the office of Secretary of War ad inte 
rim, to supersede Mr. Stanton. On Friday, the 21st, the 
general came to the room where I was sitting with another 
officer, and, calling him, they went out together. In a 
short time they returned, and the general threw a letter 
on my table, which was the one from the President, ap 
pointing him Secretary of War ad interim. He told me 
he had delivered the letter to Mr. Stanton, removing him, 
and had taken the other officer to be a witness to the in 
terview ; that, on reading the letter to Mr. Stanton, the 
latter remarked, "I suppose you will give me time to 
remove my private papers ! " and that he then asked for 
a copy of the President s letter of appointment. I made 
this copy, and the general certified it officially as " Sec 
retary of War ad interim." When Mr. Stanton received 
the copy, he said he would consider whether he would 
recognize it or not. General Thomas seemed to think 
Mr. Stanton would retire without making any opposition. 
He said emphatically that he should most certainly, at all 


hazards, take possession of the war-office on the follow 
ing Monday, which would give Mr. Stanton ample time 
to vacate, Saturday (February 22d) being a holiday, and 
Sunday coming right after. He then sent his letter to 
the President, accepting the appointment. 

On Saturday, February 22d, I went to the War De 
partment, as usual on holidays, merely for my private 
letters. The rooms were all locked, and the keys were in 
Mr. Stanton s possession. He had remained in his own 
office all night. I went to General Schriver s room, 
which was directly opposite the Secretary s. At about 
noon General Thomas entered the building unaccompa 
nied. He had been all the night at a masked ball with 
his family, had just sat down to breakfast without taking 
off his uniform, when he was arrested and summoned be 
fore Chief-Justice Cartter, of the Supreme Court of the 
District of Columbia. The arrest was made on a warrant 
issued upon Mr. Stanton s affidavit that, on a pretended 
appointment of Secretary of War ad interim, he had 
endeavored to exercise the authority of the Secretary 
of War, contrary to the act " regulating the tenure of 
certain civil offices," passed March 2, 1867. He gave 
bail in five thousand dollars to appear on the following 
Wednesday. From the court he proceeded directly to the 
President s office, and, after consultation with the Presi 
dent, went to the Secretary s room in the War Depart 
ment. His arrest had changed his intention of waiting 
till Monday to demand possession of the office. There 
were several members of Congress with Mr. Stanton. 
The general courteously saluted those present, and the 
following colloquy ensued : 

General Thomas (addressing Mr. Stanton). I am Sec- 


retary of War ad interim, and am ordered by the Presi 
dent of the United States to take charge of this office. 

Mr. Stanton. I order you to repair to your room, and 
exercise your office as adjutant-general. 

General T. I am Secretary of War ad interim, and 
I shall not obey your orders ; but I shall obey the order 
of the President to take charge of this office. 

Mr. S. As Secretary of War, I order you to repair to 
your office as adjutant-general. 

General T. I shall not do so. 

Mr. S. Then you may stand there, if you please ; but 
you will attempt to act as Secretary of War at your peril. 

General T. I shall act as Secretary of War. 

There the official interview ended. There was no ex 
citement in language or manner, but each spoke with 
quiet determination. There was a short-hand writer 
present who took down every word. Presently, General 
Thomas crossed the hall to General Schriver s room both 
doors had been all the time open. Mr. Stanton, followed 
only by the stenographer, came in after him. The door 
of General Schriver s room was then closed. Mr. Stan- 
ton, resuming the colloquy, said in a laughing tone to 
General Thomas, " So you claim to be here as Secretary 
of War, and refuse to obey my orders, do you 1 " Gen 
eral Thomas replied, seriously : " I do so claim. I shall 
require the mails of the War Department to be delivered 
to me, and shall transact all the business of the depart 
ment." Seeing that the general looked as if he had had 
no rest the night before, Mr. Stanton then, playfully 
running his fingers up through the general s hair, as he 
wearily leaned back in his chair, said, " Well, old fellow, 
have you had any breakfast this morning ? " " No," said 


Thomas, good-naturedly. " Nor anything to drink ? " 
" No." " Then you are as badly off as I am, for I have 
had neither." Mr. Stanton then sent out for some re 
freshment ; General Thomas related how he had been ar 
rested just after returning with his children from a ball, 
before he had time to eat his breakfast, and they had a 
very pleasant conversation for half an hour. Presently, 
Mr. Stanton asked General Thomas when he was going 
to give him the report of an inspection of the national 
cemeteries which he had lately made. Mr. Stanton said 
if it was not soon rendered it would be too late to have 
it printed, and he was anxious to have it go forth as a 
creditable work of the department. There was apparently 
no special point to this question, and General Thomas 
evidently saw none, for he answered pleasantly that he 
would work at it that night and give it to him. It struck 
me as a lawyer s ruse to make Thomas acknowledge Stan- 
ton s authority as Secretary of War, and that Thomas 
was caught by it. I, some time after, asked Mr. Stanton 
if that was his design. He made no reply, but looked 
at me with a mock expression of surprise at my conceiv 
ing such a thing. 

Before General Thomas left the department, Mr. 
Stanton handed him a letter forbidding him to give any 
orders as Secretary of War. The general read and in 
dorsed it as received on that date, signing the indorse 
ment as Secretary ad interim ; which Mr. Stanton seeing, 
he remarked, laughing, " Here you have committed an 
other offense ! " To this the general assented. He soon 
after went away for the day. 

The incidents here related seem to indicate that all 
the steps taken were to place the whole matter in a form 


to test, before the highest tribunal, the constitutionality 
of the tenure-of-office law. There were some persistent 
reports that it was fully intended that possession of the 
War Department should be gained by force, if Mr. Stan- 
ton would not voluntarily retire. General Thomas told 
me positively that the story of his intention to "kick Mr. 
Stanton out of the department " had but slight founda 
tion. He felt no disrespect toward Mr. Stanton, and had 
too much self-respect to speak of him in such terms. He 
would not lay a finger on him. He requested me to tell 
this to Mr. Stanton. The story had its origin in this in 
cident : He was at a reception given one evening by the 
President, when a man, who said he was from Newcastle, 
Delaware, the general s old home, took him by the hand, 
and told him that his State " had its eye upon him, and 
expected him to stand firm." The general, smiling, 
straightened himself and replied, " Am I not standing 
firm ? " " But," said the other, " are you not going to 
kick that man out ? " " Oh," said the general, evasively, 
" some of these days." 

As for Mr. Stanton, who had heard some of the re 
ports of intended violence, he gave orders, the evening 
of the 22d, that, if General Thomas should come to take 
the department by force, no resistance should be made, 
but that he should be immediately notified of his ap 
proach. This order was kept secret, because, if known, 
it might lead to the attempt being made. Mr. Stanton, 
however, declared he would not have blood shed on his 
account, and, if an assault on the building were attempted, 
he would not try to repel it. 

Monday, February 24th, the House of Eepresentatives 
passed the resolution impeaching President Johnson, by 


a vote of 126 yeas to 42 nays. The report about town 
on Wednesday, the 26th, was, that General Thomas would 
appear before Judge Cartter, be surrendered by his bail, 
and, being committed, would sue out a writ of habeas 
corpus, to bring his case before the Supreme Court of 
the United States. This would test the tenure-of-office 
law. By this course there might result a conflict of ac 
tion ; for the Senate might impeach the President, while 
the Supreme Court might sustain General Thomas. 
When, however, the general appeared before the judge, 
he was discharged without bail. Thus the attempt to get 
his case before the Supreme Court was frustrated. If 
he had afterward been indicted by the grand jury, and 
tried before the criminal court, and if the President had 
been adjudged guilty by the Senate, the general would 
probably have gone to the penitentiary. He came into 
the office the day after his discharge, and said, " They 
euchred me again yesterday by discharging me instead of 
letting me go before the Supreme Court." He was evi 
dently much dejected, and with reason, considering the 
difficulties in which he was involved. 

The state of things which ensued was most remarka 
ble. Of course, the President would have no intercourse 
with Mr. Stanton. He had also had a serious controversy 
with General Grant,* the General-in-Chief of the Army, 
through whom a recently enacted law required that he 
should issue all orders to the army, and would have noth- 

* The controversy grew out of the surrender of the office of Secretary of 
War by General Grant when the Senate passed the resolution not sustain 
ing the President in his first suspension of Mr. Stanton. The President 
claimed that the general should not have surrendered the office to any one 
but himself, whereas General Grant had not taken that course. 


ing to do with him. General Thomas was asked by the 
President on the 17th of March to resume his duties as 
adjutant-general, but declined, lest it should involve the 
subordinate officers in difficulty, and because he could 
not recognize Mr. Stanton as Secretary of War. Yet his 
appointment as Secretary ad interim was not formally 
revoked. It happened, fortunately, that I had not been 
seriously involved during all these perplexities. A daily 
paper stated that I had committed myself by replying 
that I could not recognize any one but Mr. Stanton when 
General Thomas had asked me if I would acknowledge 
him as Secretary of War ad interim. No such conver 
sation took place between us, and nothing whatever oc 
curred to require me to take side with either of the con 
tending parties. Thus I was as the neutral ground from 
February to the following May, on which the President, 
Secretary of War, and General of the Army, conducted 
the affairs of the army. They each sent directly to me 
the orders they desired to have executed, and by a little 
tact I managed to avoid any question of jurisdiction or 
other difficulty. As the Treasury Department continued 
to honor requisitions signed by Mr. Stanton, everything 
ran on smoothly as usual in the army. 

On the 16th of May, 1868, the Senate voted on the 
eleventh of the articles of impeachment. The vote stood 
35 for, 19 against. The rules required two thirds for 
conviction, and so Mr. Johnson was acquitted. On the 
26th of May a vote was taken on the second and third 
articles, with the same result. These three articles con 
tained special reference to the removal of Mr. Stanton, 
and the appointment of General Thomas, in alleged viola 
tion of the tenure-of -office law. 


At about a quarter to three o clock p. M., the same 
day (26th), Mr. Stanton s son, who was his private secre 
tary, brought me a letter in the following terms : 


May 26, 1868. 

GENERAL : You will take charge of the "War Depart 
ment, and the books and papers, archives, and public 
property belonging to the same, subject to the disposal 
and directions of the President. 


Sewetary of War. 

Brevet Major- General E. D. TOWNSEND, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

In handing me this letter he said he was to take 
another letter from Mr. Stanton to the President. I 
asked at what time he would deliver that letter, remark 
ing that it would be proper for me to see the President 
immediately after. Mr. Stanton, it seems, changed his 
first purpose, for in half an hour his son returned, saying 
his father wished me to deliver the letter to the Presi 
dent. I went over, and was immediately admitted to 
the President, who was alone, and handed him Mr. Stan- 
ton s letter. He invited me to be seated, and conned 
over the letter for about five minutes, his face wearing 
an expression of marked displeasure. At last he inquired 
at what time the War Department had been turned over 
to me. I replied that the letter was handed me but a few 
moments before I came to him. Something then prompt 
ed me to say : " It is right, Mr. President, that I should 
say I know nothing of the contents of that letter, except 
by surmise from the tenor of this one which I received 
at the same time, directing me to take charge of the 


War Department." Upon this, his countenance at once 
changed. He examined and returned my letter, and in 
a pleasant voice asked the day of the month, which he 
noted on Mr. Stanton s communication, and then inti 
mated that he desired nothing further. As I rose to de 
part, I said, " Have you any orders to give me, sir ? " 
He replied, "None." Thus I concluded that, as he knew 
I held the charge of the War Department, subject to his 
" disposal and direction," he intended it should so remain 
until he gave me other instructions ; so I put the key of 
the Secretary s room in my pocket. 

In the evening I went to Mr. Stanton s residence and 
saw him. He said he could not be expected to make any 
further sacrifice by contending longer for the possession 
of the office. He had determined to withdraw at any rate, 
even if the President had been impeached, and had seized 
on this as an opportune moment to retire. This confirms 
my impression that he had, contrary to his own inclina 
tion, yielded to the arguments * of influential persons in 
favor of maintaining the contest. His impaired health 
must have made it peculiarly irksome to him. 

The following is a copy of his letter to the President : 

WASHINGTON CITY, May 26, 1868. 

To the President of the United States. 

SIR: The resolution of the Senate of the United 
States, of the 21st of February last, declaring that the 

* One of the pressures brought to bear upon him was Senator Sumner s 
laconic dispatch of February 21st: 

"Hon. E. M. Stanton. Stick. 

"Ever sincerely yours, 



President "has no power to remove the Secretary of 
War, and desiginate any other officer to perform the 
duties of that office ad interim" having this day failed 
to be supported by two thirds of the Senators present 
and voting on the articles of impeachment preferred 
against you by the House of Representatives, I have 
relinquished charge of the War Department, and have 
left the same, and the books, archives, papers, and prop 
erty heretofore in my custody, as Secretary of War, in 
care of brevet Major-General Townsend, the senior 
assistant adjutant-general, subject to your direction. 


Secretary of War. 

The morning after Mr. Stanton s retirement, General 
Thomas came to my room and asked if I had any keys 
for him. I replied that I had the keys of the Secre 
tary s room. On his asking for them, I told him I had 
the day before reported to the President, and he had 
tacitly confirmed the orders given me to hold the keys 
subject to his direction. The general offered to give 
me an order in writing, which he would sign, by order 
of the President, as Secretary ad interim, if I desired 
it. I rather thought that under the circumstances I 
was as good an ad interim as he, so I replied that, to 
save any possible difficulty, I should prefer to have the 
President s own sign manual ; that I would suggest he 
had better see the President, and, if the latter gave me 
such instructions, I would cheerfully give him the keys. 
The general went to see the President, and at the end 
of two hours returned, saying the President " would 
not touch the thing." So it was well I did not. 


A singular incident happened that afternoon. A sign 
about three feet long and six inches wide, which was 
over the door of the reception-room next the Secre 
tary s, fell to the floor, face down, as if to signify 
that there was now no Secretary of War, not even an 
ad interim. 

Things remained in statu quo from the 26th to the 
29th of May, when I received a visit from the Presi 
dent s military secretary, who sat a little while asking 
questions as to what was being done. At about three 
o clock p. M., he returned, saying the President desired 
to see me. The President asked in a pleasant manner, 
"How are you getting on at the War Department?" 
I said I had not thought it right to attend to any of 
the business of the War Office, had opened none of 
the mails, but received them and deposited them in 
the Secretary s room, the key of which was in my 
own possession. He said that was right; there might 
be some business that ought to be transacted, but he 
hoped something would be done that afternoon or the 
next morning, and meantime he desired me to continue 
in the same course. I told him General Thomas had 
asked me to deliver the keys to him as Secretary ad 
interim, but I had thought it proper to receive the 
President s own order first. He replied, with evident 
pleasure, that I was quite right ; that circumstances 
had changed since General Thomas s appointment, and 
he wished me to keep charge of the department for 
the present. 

General Schofield was confirmed as Secretary of War 
by the Senate the 30th of May, and on Monday, the 1st 
of June, the President came to the War Department and 


installed him. He remarked, laughingly, as he entered 
the Secretary s room, " It is some time since I was in this 
room before ! " 



"Always tying your shoe " "Some one^ad been drinking" The Secre 
tary obeying orders Blood enough shed Malicious reports Bap 
tism Kindly notice. 

MR. STANTON entered upon the duties of Secretary of 
War with a due appreciation of their difficulties and 
responsibilities. He was beset by persons who had " axes 
to grind," and some of them were not scrupulous as to 
the means of gaining their end. 

He found that a determined will would often alone 
enable him to surmount obstacles in the way of the pub 
lic service. This, added to the nervous irritability which 
infallibly attends overwork, sometimes made him arbi 
trary and offensive in his manners. But I always found 
him ready to make amends when in the wrong if not 
directly by apology, yet by some exceedingly kind act 
which more than atoned for his hasty words. He con 
firmed this impression, when about to take final leave of 
the War Department, by saying to me that the only 
regret he felt in severing ofijcial relations with the offi 
cers who, under his administration of the War Depart 
ment, had so faithfully and intelligently served the 
country, w T as that, " sometimes when racked in body and 
mind," he had not been able to control himself, and had 


addressed language to them which he afterward regretted. 
Indeed, he had often reminded me of the man who had 
had a hard time in his domestic circle, where he was 
forced to restrain himself, but, finding some one tying 
his shoe-string on the door-step, he vented his pent-up 
passion upon the poor fellow by knocking him over, say 
ing, "You are always tying your shoe!" This thought 
often enabled me to refrain from a sharp answer, when 
it w r ould have done more harm than good. Yet I did 
not always take an unmerited rebuke quietly. He sent 
down for me one day to go to his room in the depart 
ment. I found him alone, pacing the floor. He asked 
me rather sternly why I had done a certain thing which 
had but just come to his knowledge. I gave him my 
reasons. Said he : " You were wrong ; you ought not 
to have done any such thing." As I differed from him, 
I made no sort of reply. Then he asked w r hy I had not 
done something else instead. I told him why, briefly 
explaining the circumstances. He said, in a milder tone, 
that he didn t agree with me. To this I made no reply. 
Then he asked, "Don t you think you were wrong?" 
I said, very deliberately and positively : " No, Mr. Secre 
tary, I do not think I was wrong, and, moreover, I may 
as well add, once for all, that my best judgment and abil 
ity are uniformly exerted to foresee what may require to 
be done, and to do it as well as possible. If I fail, it is 
not from want of endeavor ; and when you find fault, as 
you sometimes do, it can not quicken me to greater care 
and exertion, but only makes me indifferent whether I 
please you or not." He said, quietly, " I rebuke whom 
I please." "Yes, sir," said I. Having waited some 
time, and finding he said nothing more, but continued 


walking up and down in deep thought, I asked him if he 
wished anything further. He said, " No," and I withdrew. 
Half an hour after, the messenger summoned me to his 
room again. I thought it quite probable he would do as 
he did with a former chief of a bureau, who got angry at 
the way Mr. Stanton spoke to him, and resented it by 
saying he would allow no man to address to him such 
language. It was at the beginning of his administration, 
and the Secretary asserted his authority by ordering the 
refractory chief to a remote city, and never after allow 
ing him to return to duty. But I had taken my stand 
deliberately, and meant to maintain it. The Secretary 
was still alone, and standing by his high table. Beckon 
ing to me with his finger in a pleasant way, he put his 
arm around my shoulder, and drew my head close to his, 
when he whispered to me a very important secret, which 
it was not at all necessary I should know. He had 
weighed all I had said, found I was right, and took this 
method of showing me extraordinary confidence, by way 
of acknowledgment. This course, which the Secretary 
pursued more than once, fully accomplished his generous 
purpose without subjecting him to a direct confession of 
wrong, which he thought might weaken his influence. 
He knew that I well understood it so. In moments of 
leisure, he would often send for me, and in the most 
pleasant manner inquire about my business, to inform 
himself upon what was going on ; and then converse 
generally on topics requiring consideration. In this way 
he maintained a sufficient knowledge of things he might 
have to act upon, and broke in upon the headlong current 
of events which seemed to cause everything to be done 
in a hurry. 


Although Mr. Stanton had the reputation of being 
very stern, he yet enjoyed a pleasantry as well as other 
people. He once told me that an attempt had been made 

on the life of Judge by sending him an infernal 

machine in the form of a daguerreotype-box. I remarked 
that murderous attempts seemed rife; the papers had 
stated that a man tried to kill a certain Senator the day 
before, but that he had drawn a pistol on the fellow, who 
escaped. " Oh ! " said the Secretary, " some one in that 
company had been drinking." I asked if the Senator 
was given to such a practice ; for I had never then heard 
of it. " "What practice ? " said the Secretary, with a 
quizzical look, as if to say, " I did not say he had been 
drinking." Not to be caught so, I replied immediately, 
" Of carrying a pistol ! " " Umph ! " said the Secretary, 

Nor was Mr. Stanton quick to take offense, when he 
understood that none was intended. There was one day 
an alarm that the War Department building was on fire. 
Smoke was distinctly seen issuing through the roof, and 
for a time it was thought that the building would soon 
be in flames. Necessary steps were taken to find the 
location of the fire and extinguish it. But there was no 
fire, after all. The old chimney was full of crevices ; and, 
when a larger wood-fire than usual happened to be kin 
dled in one of the rooms, the smoke issued from the 
holes, and was diffused through the empty space under 
the roof, finding its way out between the slates. The 
room of the disbursing clerk was on the floor where the 
fire was supposed to be, and very near the place from 
which smoke was issuing. There was a large sum of 
money in the safe, and the clerk coolly remained at his 


post to guard it, or, if necessary, be ready to move it. 
The Secretary, in taking a survey of the operations, 
opened the door of this room and partly entered. The 
clerk, not seeing who it was, gruffly ordered him out. 
" You wish me to go out, do you ? " said the Secretary. 
" Yes, I do," replied the clerk. Without another word, 
Mr. Stanton withdrew, and closed the door after him. 
He never alluded to the matter; though, when the clerk 
ascertained whom he had so peremptorily ordered out, he 
naturally felt some apprehension of the Secretary s dis 
pleasure. The clerk had been faithful to his charge, and 
that was enough. 

Both Messrs. Stanton and Henry Wilson, as soon as 
the fighting was over, expressed in my presence the 
strongest desire that peace and hearty good-will should 
be restored as soon as possible between the two sections. 
They believed the whole country would rapidly rise to 
greater prosperity than ever when this was effected. I 
shall never forget the expression of Mr. Stanton s face 
w r hen I took to him for the President s action, just after 
General Lee s surrender, the proceedings of a general 
court-martial, sentencing a soldier to be shot for some 
mutinous or other aggravated offense. When he heard 
the sentence, and was reminded that it required the Presi 
dent s own action, Mr. Stanton turned to me, and said : 
" Is there no way of avoiding the execution of that sen 
tence ? There has been blood enough shed." The man 
was not executed. 

The "absurd and malicious tale" that Judge Stan- 
ton took his own life was forever refuted by the letter 
of Surgeon-General Barnes and affidavits of William S. 
Dupee and David Jones. (See Appendix G.) If any- 


thing more were wanting to confirm me in the persuasion 
of the falsity of such a story, my own knowledge would 
suffice. I watched by the body of Edwin M. Stanton the 
entire night after his death, and could not have failed to 
know if there had been anything wrong about it. More 
over, I could never be brought to believe that a man who 
so often gave utterance to religious convictions as he did 
in friendly conversations with me could have possibly 
perverted his mind so as to commit such a deed. Only 
some three or four years preceding his decease, he invited 
Generals Barnes and Meigs and myself to be present at 
his baptism. The ceremony was performed in his cham 
ber, by the Eev. Dr. Sparrow, his old-time professor 
at Kenyon College no others, except his family, being 

The estimate of Mr. Stanton s standing with the 
Northern public was kindly and, I think, justly repre 
sented by the following notice of him, clipped from a 
daily newspaper: 

STANTON. Since the assassination of Mr. Lin 
coln, the public heart has been drawn nearer than ever to 
the Secretary of War. His bulletins from Washington 
have been eagerly read and widely praised as models of 
composition. And it is worthy of mention that the Sec 
retary possesses the full confidence of the nation, no one 
ever presuming to question any of his statements. Dur 
ing the dark and terrible hours between the firing of the 
pistol by the assassin and the death of our good Presi 
dent, and while the precious life of Mr. Seward hung 
suspended by a thread, the announcements of the Secre 
tary were like oil poured upon the troubled waters 


calming public apprehension, and restoring and strength 
ening confidence. These gentle and kindly offices have 
given him a place in every good heart." 


Datcher Madison s portrait. 

AT the outbreak of the war, Francis Datcher was one 
of the messengers of the Secretary s office. It had been 
the custom for years to employ colored men, as well as 
whites, in that capacity. Frank Datcher, of the War De 
partment, Lindley Muse, of the Navy Department, and 
Brent, of the Second Auditor s office, belong to the list of 
Uncle Sam s most steady and faithful servants. The vet 
eran Datcher, while very dignified, possessed less of pom 
posity, and more of learning, than did the usher at the Ex 
ecutive Mansion, of long years ago, who, at a reception, 
announced a Senator and his daughters as " Senator 
Foote and the Misses Feet ! " Datcher had a parchment 
on which was engrossed a high testimonial to his charac 
ter, signed by a long succession of Secretaries on vacating 
their office. There was but one omission on the list. 
For some reason Frank had taken a strong dislike to one 
of the earlier Secretaries, who had so offended him that, 
like the French cook who dismissed the duke for adding 
salt to his soup, he would not permit him to affix his 
signature to the testimonial ! Datcher did not serve long 


in the civil war. The vast increase to the labors of his 
station proved too severe for the old man, and his efforts 
to keep up to his work as promptly as usual caused his 

He was succeeded by another colored man, Frank 
Madison by name, a good-natured, easy-going personage, 
who, aided by several active young fellows, did a fair 
share of running to the Secretary s bell. Frank Batcher 
was polite and formal in manner; Frank Madison was 
jovial and always ready for a joke. Secretary Bel- 
knap began to make a handsome collection of portraits 
in oil of his predecessors, to decorate the walls of the 
War-Office. Much interest was felt in this gallery by all 
the employes, and when a new picture arrived each one 
went to take a look at it. The older ones had, perhaps, 
some reminiscence of the earlier Secretaries to relate for 
the benefit of later comers. Frank Madison ued to 
come to my room to advise me of each new arrival, and 
invite me up to see it. One day he came in a great state 
of excitement, his eyes starting from their sockets, and 
his head tossed in a manner as lofty as he was capable of. 

Said he : " General ! what do you think ? Mr. " (one 

of the clerks, who was a bit of a wag) " says the Secretary 
is going to have my portrait taken, to hang in his room 
long with all the Secretaries ! Won t that be an ho:ior ! 
I don t know yet who is going to paint me, but I ll come 
down and tell you, soon as I find out. I think, sir, that 
is doing a handsome thing don t you, now ? " Frank s 
credulity was perhaps aided by the fact that portraits of 
some of the generals of the war had been hung beside 
the Secretaries. It may be imagined that the respondent 
had a little difficulty in playing his part of a credulous 


listener. He has been patiently waiting for several years 
to learn the name of the artist, but is still in ignorance. 


Obstacle to capital-moving Method of keeping records Tracing a cotton 
claim Tracing a soldier Confederate archives The Alabama. 

THE infinite number and variety of business matters 
which have been administered upon by various depart 
ments of the United States Government, since the civil 
war began, can not be appreciated by those not person 
ally conversant with such things. I was once urging be 
fore a. Senate committee the want of afire-proof building 
to store the records upon which so many millions of dol 
lars depended, where they would be at once safe and easy 
of access. One of the committee alluded to the efforts at 
that time made to bring public opinion up to the point of 
moving the capital westward. I suggested that one fact 
did not appear to have been brought into view in that 
connection : It was, that the wheels of government 
must be nearly brought to a stand-still for at least a 
year or more, while the process of moving was going 
on. The innumerable claims arising from contracts, 
pensions, and every conceivable account against the 
Treasury, are determined by documentary evidence, 
which must be carefully preserved for reference in 
every case. These papers contain the history of claims, 
and determine their value. Acres of ground are now 


covered by such records. In order to a change of 
location, they must all be boxed in parcels that could 
be handled and transported, and the boxes must be so 
labeled as to indicate their contents. Meantime, build 
ings of sufficient capacity must be provided in the new 
capital to receive them ; and when they arrive there they 
must be unpacked and systematically arranged. 

Some little estimate of the time which would be con 
sumed in the packing and transporting, and then un 
packing and arranging, can be formed by any one who 
has passed through the public buildings and observed 
the towering piles of shelves and pigeon-holes, groan 
ing under the weight of tons of papers. Now, the 
last estimate for the payment of pensions only one 
branch of the public service was one hundred mill 
ion dollars, due in sums of from three to thirty dollars 
a month. Every claimant for portions of this aggregate 
amount has on file in Washington papers proving the 
right to the pension. Besides this, thousands of new 
claims are constantly presented. But, while the Pen 
sion-Office is on its journey, almost the entire work 
upon these cases must be suspended, else wrong pay 
ments would be made to a frightful extent, in igno 
rance of what had been already determined about those 
same claims. 

Nor is this all. The records of the different depart 
ments are interlaced, as it were, so that information from 
one is necessary to intelligent action in another. Thus, 
if the adjutant-general s muster-rolls are not open to 
the Pension-Office, the latter is paralyzed in its efforts 
to detect fraudulent claims. 

From this sketch, but a faint conception can be 


formed of the unavoidable suspension of public busi 
ness which must ensue should the location of the capi 
tal be changed. This was a new idea to the Senator, 
and he thought it well worthy of serious considera 

As must be supposed, a very exact but simple system 
prevails in the filing of papers, so that they can be easily 
found when required. In the same way that a book has 
its index, so has a collection of papers. Each paper is 
folded and indorsed with the date and place of writing, 
name of writer, a brief analysis of its contents, and the 
date of its receipt. The several papers are numbered 
in the order of their receipt within the year. This 
entire indorsement is copied in a book, and numbered 
to correspond with the number on the paper. The 
history of the subject embraced in the paper, as it 
progresses, is kept by further indorsements upon the 
paper, and by filing with it all other documents bearing 
on the subject. Finally, the date when the decision 
is communicated to the person concerned is noted on 
the papers. They are then arranged in pigeon-holes, 
or on shelves, in the order of their numbers, and ac 
cording to the years of their dates. If the papers should 
be referred to any one out of the office, a note is made 
in the index-book, of the entire reference. Should any 
paper be required years after its receipt, the first re 
sort is to the index-book which describes it, and the 
entry there at once reveals the file where it should 
be, or the reference which was made of it. 

This is simply an outline of the system observed, with 
variations, in all departments of the Government. In 
illustration of its effectiveness, two incidents may be men- 


tioned : After the close of the war, a gentleman was try 
ing to trace some cotton, for which he had a claim, in the 
Treasury. He was referred to the adjutant-general, to 
ascertain what had become of certain papers he had 
submitted a few years before. An entry was found in 
the index-book, describing the papers, and showing that 
they had been sent to the officer commanding a military 
department, with instructions to him to obtain informa 
tion and report upon them, and that they had not been 
returned. The gentleman said he had applied to this 
department commander, who had sent him to the officer 
commanding the sub-district where the cotton was taken ; 
he had been to him, and could get no information from 
either. I asked if they had given him any memoranda, 
showing that they had ever seen the papers. He replied 
that both had given him slips, but they afforded him no 
assistance. He then handed me the slips. The one from 
the department commander was an exact copy of the en 
try from the adjutant-general s book, taken from the pa 
pers themselves, and showing that they had been received 
on a certain date, and that they had been referred for a 
report to the sub-district commander. The slip from the 
latter exhibited the same data, and that the papers had 
been given for proper action to a certain agent of the 
Treasury, appointed for the express purpose of attending 
to cotton claims. I had only to inform the gentleman 
that this Treasury agent was the person to whom he 
should look for his papers, and he departed quite satisfied. 
The other instance of the value of such a system was 
one where some national pride was involved. In March, 
1864, an application was made to the Department of 
State for the discharge of a French citizen, through the 


French legation. The minister had gone away tempo 
rarily, and left a charge to act for him. The letter in 
closed a translation of one from the soldier himself to his 
father, in Paris, representing that he had been arbitrarily 
taken from his hotel in New York, told he was a soldier, 
and, having no one to care for him, had been hurried off 
to a regiment at Morris Island, in South Carolina, with 
out bounty or pay. He signed himself " A. Cauvet, 3d 
Regt., Y. II. Y." The father wrote under the same name 
Cauvet. There was no regiment in the Union service 
designated by the initials Y. H. Y., but, as the Third Regi- 
ment of N. H. (New Hampshire) Yolunteers was at Mor 
ris Island, the muster-rolls of that regiment were carefully 
examined. No such man, however, appeared there. The 
regimental commander and several mustering officers 
were called upon to investigate the case, but for some 
time a trace could not be found. At last, after several 
weeks of patient examination, it was found that one 
Emile Caulat, a Frenchman, had voluntarily offered as a 
substitute for a drafted man, and had received from him 
the usual three hundred dollars ; that he had been mus 
tered in at a place in New Hampshire, instead of being 
kidnapped in New York as was stated, and had been sent 
to the Third Regiment of New Hampshire Yolunteers. 
The man signed his name on enlistments and receipts 
very distinctly as Emile Caulat. Owing to the delay in 
finding him, which was due to difference of name and 
data, Emile Caulat s regiment had meantime been trans 
ferred to Yirginia, where he was killed in battle. The 
French charge, hearing this, addressed another communi 
cation to the Department of State, in which he reflected 
severely on administrative delays through which the 


French citizen had found death under the United States 
flag, when he might have been discharged and saved. 
He also declared his conviction that statements, of which 
he had been kept in ignorance, showed the truth of the 
kidnapping charge. 

On receipt of this last communication at the War 
Department, the Secretary sent to me for the facts. 
With the file of papers in my hand I gave him from their 
indorsements the history of the patient investigation that 
had been made, with the dates when several different 
officers in New York, New Hampshire, and South Caro 
lina, had been asked to try to find the man, and the state 
ments of their efforts, all in detail. The fact was clearly 
shown to be, that failure to comply with the request of 
the legation was due to material errors in the data given 
by it, and that, instead of being kidnapped in New York, 
Cauvet, if indeed he w r ere identical with the man Caulat, 
had voluntarily enlisted as a substitute in New Hamp 
shire. If, however, the identity of the two names were 
not established, then we had not been able to find Cauvet 
in the United States service. 

Mr. Stanton was much impressed with the pains that 
had been taken in this investigation, and with the system 
of record through which its progress had been so accu 
rately preserved. In sending the statement in detail to 
the Department of State, he expressed the hope that the 
Secretary would not fail to invite the attention of the 
French legation to the injustice done by its charges 
against officers whose fidelity and intelligence could not 
be surpassed by those of any government. It was a 
merited compliment to the assistant adjutant-general hav 
ing immediate charge of that branch of business, for this 


was only one case out of the thousands from which it had 
been singled at hap-hazard. 

Remembering what large numbers of claims against 
the Government had arisen from the Mexican War, and 
what trouble there had been in adjusting them from want 
of the records made at the time, I asked the Secretary 
of War to let me issue an order requiring that whenever 
military posts, departments, etc., were discontinued, all 
the official record-books and papers belonging to them 
should be forwarded for file in the adjutant-general s 
office. Accordingly, such an order was promulgated 
April 7, 1865.* The third paragraph of the order re 
quired that "officers who come in command of places 
captured from the enemy will collect and forward to this 
office any papers left behind by the rebels which may be 
of public use or interest." Struck with the importance 
of this measure, the Secretary immediately telegraphed 
the last provision to General Halleck, who commanded in 
Richmond after its capture. Some of the buildings and 
records of the Confederate capital had been fired at the 
time of the evacuation ; a large portion, however, were 
saved. General R. D. Cutts, United States Coast Sur 
vey, then an aide-de-camp to General Halleck, collected 
and arranged all that could be found, and sent them, 
with invoices, to Washington. The invoices indicated 
from what public department the records were taken, 
and, being duly certified, they became of signal value as 
authentic documents, not only in an historical but in a 
financial point of view. It would be difficult to estimate 
the amount actually saved to the United States Treasury by 

* In October, 1866, the adjutant-general reported that 3,353 boxes, 
containing records of 2,165 organizations, had been received. 


the use of these archives. In one single case, judgment 
for a million dollars had been given a certain firm by an 
inferior court. This judgment, having been appealed to 
the United States Supreme Court, was reversed upon 
evidence subsequently discovered among the Confederate 
archives. In another instance both Houses of Congress 
passed a bill to pay a claim of about ninety thousand 
dollars ; but the President, having seen indisputable evi 
dence of the claimant s disloyalty, found in the archives, 
refused to sign the bill, and it was lost. 

The most remarkable case of all was that of the Con 
federate ram Alabama, which was destroyed off Cher 
bourg, June 19, 1864, by the United States steamer Kear- 
sarge, commanded by Captain John A. Winslow. Claims 
arising from depredations committed by the Alabama, or 
" 290," as she was sometimes called, were before the High 
Joint Commission, which assembled in Washington to 
adjust differences between the United States and Great 
Britain. Hearing of this, I informed the Secretary of 
"War that there were in the Archive-Office, certified by 
General Cutts as having been taken from the Confederate 
Navy Department in Richmond, drawings, plans, specifi 
cations, and a contract between the Confederate Navy 
Department and the Lairds, English ship-builders, for 
building this identical ram Alabama. Copies of these 
papers, under the seal of the War Department, were 
transmitted to the Department of State, and formed an 
important link in the testimony bearing on the question. 

Whereas, at first much discontent was manifested at 
the South from a misapprehension as to the purpose of 
the Government concerning these archives, now that it 
is ascertained that whatever is of merely historical value 


will be published,* with other documents relating to the 
war, the Government receives hearty co-operation in its 
efforts to gather in as many of the same description of 
papers as it possibly can, in order that the written history 
of the war may be most complete on both sides. 


The unknown man Convincing proofs. 

IN the latter part of September, 1866, it was reported 
to me that an unknown man, laboring under insanity, 
and without the power of speech, had been found at Tal 
lahassee, Florida, by the United States troops when they 
occupied that place. He had been there about fifteen 
months, and no one knew anything about his history. 
He was supposed, however, to be a Union soldier. A 
notice of him having appeared in some Northern papers, 
several persons applied for permission to visit Tallahassee, 
in hopes of finding in him a missing relative. With the 
view of bringing him to a more accessible place, and thus 
increasing the chances of his being identified, and also in 
the hope that contact with familiar objects might restore 
him to reason, I sent orders to have him transferred to 

* " The War of the Rebellion : A Compilation of the Official Records 
of the Union and Confederate Armies. Prepared, under the Direction of 
the Secretary of War, by Brevet Lieutenant- Colonel Robert N. Scott, Third 
United States Artillery, and published pursuant to Act of Congress, ap 
proved June 16, 1880." 


the Government Hospital for the Insane, at Washington, 
under the charge of an intelligent attendant, who might 
turn to advantage any sign of returning reason. He 
was admitted there the last of November, 1866. The 
superintendent of the hospital published personal de 
scriptions of the man in newspapers at the North, and 
several persons came to see him. In August, 1867, a 
Mrs. Houghton, from Ontario County, New York, brought 
me a note from the superintendent of the hospital, stat 
ing that Mrs. Houghton had spent some hours with the 
unknown man, and that she believed him to be her hus 
band. Dr. Nichols thought she was not mistaken, but 
was not quite so confident of his identity as she was. He 
recommended that she and the man should be examined 
together by some medical officers of the army. Accord 
ingly, he was sent to the city, and examined by Surgeon- 
General Barnes, Assistant Surgeon-General Crane, and 
Dr. Nichols, superintendent of the hospital, Mrs. Hough- 
ton and myself being present. The result was given in a 
certificate, signed by the medical gentlemen, that they were 
satisfied the unknown man was Thomas B. Houghton, 
late a private soldier in the One Hundred and Fortieth 
Regiment of New York Volunteers ; and that Elizabeth 
E. Houghton had fully identified and proved him to be 
her husband. The same day, Mrs. Houghton made affi 
davit that her husband, Thomas B., was a private soldier 
in Company H, One Hundred and Fortieth Regiment, 
New York Volunteers ; that she had been informed by 
returned volunteers of the company that he disappeared 
from his command as the army was advancing to attack 
Fredericksburg, and that, having been taken sick on the 
march, he was told to get into the nearest hospital am- 


bulance, and that he had not been heard of afterward. 
From several marks she had seen on the person of the 
unknown, she identified him to be her husband. Mrs. 
Houghton produced testimonials from respectable people 
in Ontario County, who were known to parties in Wash 
ington. The muster-rolls in the adjutant-general s office 
corroborated Mrs. Houghton s statement. The age and 
description of Houghton, as given by the muster-rolls, 
corresponded with the appearance of the unknown man, 
and with Mrs. Houghton s account of her husband. 

Some of the proofs of identity were certainly most 
remarkable. It was stated in the newspapers that the 
unknown man had a singular mole upon his back. Mrs. 
Houghton, having declared that such was the fact as to 
her husband, was asked by the doctor to describe it and 
place her finger on it. She gave an accurate account of 
its size, shape, and appearance, and touched the spot 
where the " mother-mark," as she called it, was located 
on her husband. The doctor insisted that this man s 
mole was much higher up, but she maintained that her 
husband s was just where her finger indicated. On un 
covering the place, she was found to be singularly accu 

No mention had been made in the public prints of 
scars, but she described one on the forehead under the 
hair, and one on the foot, both of which were found as she 
said. Three remarkable scars of different size were found 
across the upper part of one shin, which had been erro 
neously supposed to have been caused by a musket-ball, 
though it was not easily seen how a ball could have passed 
through the flesh in such a direction without fracturing 
the bone. Mrs. Houghton had not seen those scars, but. 


when asked if she recollected any like them, she said that, 
some years before her husband left home, he was stand 
ing on a stool and reaching up to take a saw down from 
a beam in the shed, when the stool slipped and the saw 
fell across his leg below the knee. She did not remem 
ber which limb it was, but she knew that scars were left 
by the wounds. Thus these curious scars on the unknown 
man were satisfactorily accounted for. The doctors had 
seen clusters of small scars on the breast and back of the 
unknown : Mrs. Houghton, w T hen questioned about them, 
said her husband was once engaged in washing sheep in 
a river under a hot sun ; that he wore a red flannel shirt, 
and, when he came home, his neck and chest were cov 
ered with an eruption ; she dressed the places with cream, 
but without giving relief ; and he was under a doctor s 
care for two months before a cure was effected, leaving 
deep scars as described. General Barnes had known such 
cases, where poisonous substances in the dye of the red 
flannel had caused ulceration of the skin when excited by 
heat. To show the woman s good faith, when her atten 
tion was directed to some scars on the man s arms, she at 
once said that there were none such on her husband s, ex 
cept one where he had been vaccinated. Dr. Nichols, 
however, stated that these scars were evidently of recent 
origin. It was a common error among medical men, not 
specially skilled in cases of insanity, to freely bleed the 
patients ; and this vicious practice was apt to produce 
precisely the kind of dementia under which this man was 

Mrs. Houghton brought with her a lock of her hus 
band s hair, and a daguerreotype of him taken just before 
he left home. Examination with a microscope failed to 


detect any difference, in texture or color, between this 
hair and the man s when they were laid together, except 
that the latter had a slight sprinkling of gray, which 
change might easily have occurred in the time he was 
away from home. 

Mrs. Houghton noticed a want of close resemblance 
between this man and her husband when his picture was 
taken, but that could be accounted for by lapse of time, 
and suffering, as well as change of dress. She said that 
when the man was looking down she could discover no 
trace of her husband s expression of countenance, but 
when his attention was attracted, and he looked up as if 
to speak, his attitude and expression were familiar. The 
color of the eyes a singular light blue was common to 
this man and to the picture. The daguerreotype showed 
a remarkable taper to the fingers. The thumbs were long 
and delicately pointed at the ends a most unusual thing 
among laboring-men. This was also a marked pecul 
iarity of the unknown man s hand. He had also a habit 
of twirling one thumb over the other while sitting, as if 
in meditation. Mrs. Houghton mentioned this as a nota 
ble custom of her husband. 

Mrs. Houghton said that, from wearing short shoes, 
her husband s toes were bent under so that he was some 
times lame in consequence ; examination revealed the 
same formation in this man. 

No positive conclusion could be drawn from the effect 
of Mrs. Houghton s presence upon the man. He had 
some slight degree of intelligence : w r hen told to stand 
up he comprehended with difficulty, but obeyed ; and he 
seemed excited by the presence of persons to whom he 
was unaccustomed. Mrs. Houghton, in conversing with 


him, had endeavored to elicit some sign of recognition, 
by telling in brief sentences of his family and friends. 
He sat by her side passively, but several times looked up 
quickly and seemed to make an effort to speak. She said 
that in the morning, after the first night which she passed 
in the ward, she sat by him, and talked for some little 
time, and then, wishing him good-by, arose and went 
toward the door. He promptly got up and followed her, 
a thing quite unusual. Stopping at the door, she turned, 
put out her hand, and said, " Come, Thomas, won t you 
go with me ? " He turned back with his face toward the 
wall, and trembled violently. She related this circum 
stance with great emotion, which she exerted herself to 
suppress, and seemed to think it a proof that he recog 
nized her. In her subsequent meetings with him he 
showed less excitement than at first. 

In view of all this remarkable chain of circumstances, 
it was not a surprise to me, but rather a peculiar gratifica 
tion, when General Barnes sent me, rather more than a 
year after, the following copy of a letter from Dr. Nich 
ols, indicating, as it seemed, beyond a possibility of doubt, 
that the last link of the chain had been forged : 


NEAR WASHINGTON, D. C., January 29, 1869. 

Brevet Major- General J. K. BARNES, Stir geon- General 

U. 8. Army. 

GENERAL : From the deep interest you have mani 
fested in the case, I feel sure that you will derive as much 
pleasure from the intelligence as I do in being able to 
communicate it, that Thomas B. Houghton, late a private 
in the One Hundred and Fortieth Regiment New York 


Volunteers, spoke on Saturday last, saying, in a distinct 
but low tone of voice, " Yes, sir" in reply to a leading 
question in respect to his health, by Dr. Eastman, the 
physician in immediate charge of him. He spoke some 
what more freely than he did at first, but still hesitatingly 
and timidly, and only in brief reply to direct questions. 
His answers are intelligent, however, and his intelli 
gence appears to be increasing every day. When asked 
his name this morning he distinctly replied that it is 
"Thomas B. Hough ton"; when asked the name of his 
wife, he shook his head and said, "I don t know, sir" ; 
and, when asked where he is from, replied, " New York" 

You will recollect the case of late private Houghton 
as that of the unknown man who was admitted to this 
hospital November 28, 1866, from the general army hos 
pital at Tallahassee, Florida, in which he had been under 
treatment for about fifteen months, having been received 
as a destitute sick person, and under the supposition that 
he had been a Union prisoner among the rebels, and who 
was identified in your office on the 23d of August, 1867, 
as Thomas B. Houghton, late, etc., husband of Elizabeth 
E. Houghton, of Ontario County, New York. 

Houghton did not speak while in the Tallahassee hos 
pital, and has not spoken since he has been under the 
care of this institution till last Saturday ; and it thus ap 
pears that he was entirely dumb for a period of three and 
one half years, and, as he was in a feeble, passive "condi 
tion, and did not speak when admitted to general hospital, 
the disuse of his voice probably antedated that period 
many months. I now intend to address another commu 
nication to you in relation to this case when its history 
and result are more fully developed. 


As the identification of late private Houghton was 
primarily due to brevet Major-General E. D. Townsend, 
assistant adjutant-general, who ordered his transfer from 
Tallahassee to this hospital, where he would be more ac 
cessible to those in pursuit of lost friends, and who, as 
you are aware, displayed a deep personal interest in this 
extraordinary case, I respectfully suggest that he be ap 
prised of Houghton s improvement, and of the interesting 
event of his having found his long-lost voice. 

I am, general, very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, 

C. H. NICHOLS, Superintendent, etc. 

Time wore on, and I occasionally heard that our pa 
tient was progressing favorably. His wife had gone 
home, preferring to leave him in the Government Hos 
pital, where he could have far better attendance than she 
could otherwise procure. He steadily improved, and be 
gan to converse a little. He was employed at light labor, 
and grew robust in health. Suddenly, one day, when 
some one addressed him by the name of Houghton, he 
laughed and said that was not his name. He gave another 
name, and, when asked if he did not belong to the One 
Hundred and Fortieth New York Regiment, he said 
" No." A few days after, he said, with a peculiar chuckle, 
that he had never been a Yankee soldier, but had been 
overseer of a plantation in Georgia, or, as he called it, 
" a negro-driver." When Dr. Nichols heard this, he ques 
tioned him at different times, until the man stated that 
he was a native of Georgia. He gave the town w r here 
he lived, and the names of persons residing there and 
elsewhere in the State. He said he had gone into Florida 


on business, and had been drafted into a company of 
Florida conscripts ; that he lost his mind soon after, and 
did not remember anything that had since occurred. Dr. 
Nichols wrote to the persons he named, and from their 
replies became convinced that the story was true. 

Thus all our circumstantial evidence was completely 
overturned. When he was quite restored, the man ex 
pressed a desire to go home to the South, and he was 
sent accordingly. His answering at first to the name of 
Houghton may be accounted for by his having been called 
by that name, and hearing himself spoken of as from 
New York, for some time after his intelligence began to 


General Scott in Mexico Martial law Lieber s instructions. 

BEFORE General Scott went to Mexico to assume 
command of the army, he endeavored to procure some 
provision by the "War Department for trying a class of 
offenses which he foresaw must arise in the progress of 
his arms. There was no article of war, or other act of 
Congress, which would, in the ordinary practice, cover 
crimes committed by soldiers against Mexican citizens, 
or by citizens against soldiers of the United States army. 
The general submitted a projet of his plan in October, 
1846, but, for some reason, no action was taken upon it. 
At the very outset of military operations, the general was 


met at Yera Cruz by just such a necessity as he had an 
ticipated. To dispose of these cases, he first issued his 
General Orders, No. 20, dated February 19, 1847, and 
afterward republished it, with additions, the 17th of Sep 
tember, 1847, in his General Orders, No. 287 (see Appen 
dix H). 

A regiment of volunteers was raised in the District 
of Columbia, the command of which was given to an 
officer of the army by President Polk. When the army 
moved on toward the city of Mexico, this regiment was 
left to garrison Jalapa. Its colonel, as the senior officer, 
commanded the district around that town. The colonel 
was much embarrassed by the absence of any tribunal, 
civil or military, to enforce police regulations in the town. 
For want of a legal mode of punishment, he caused one 
of the enlisted men of his regiment to be flogged for 
some injury done a citizen of the place. This example 
seemed to have the desired effect, and he had little trouble 
in his command afterward. When the regiment had re 
turned to Washington and been disbanded, a civil suit 
for damages was brought against the colonel in the name 
of the soldier whom he had punished with stripes. As 
I had mustered the regiment into service, I was called as 
a witness to prove that this soldier had been regularly 
mustered, and that he was stationed at Jalapa at the time 
of the alleged assault. Messrs. Bradley and Carlisle were 
the counsel on opposite sides. They questioned me as to 
the nature of the service in that foreign city, and the laws 
relating to military discipline in force there. In reply to 
these questions I stated in substance that the city had 
been captured from the enemy by United States forces, 
and was garrisoned by this colonel s regiment ; that the 


colonel had been appointed military governor, and was 
responsible for the good order and police of the town ; 
that there were no courts of the country or of the United 
States there ; that the colonel had not power to assemble 
a general court-martial to try his men ; and, even if he 
had, the offense committed by this soldier was not cov 
ered by the rules and articles of war ; that the command 
ing general of the army alone had power to institute a 
military commission which could have tried the soldier 
for this civil offense, but he was so far off in the enemy s 
country that it was impracticable to communicate with 
him. Under these circumstances, the colonel had proba 
bly judged this summary punishment to be the only and 
necessary way to make an example which would prevent 
the prevalence of lawlessness and disorder. On hearing 
this, the judge said: "I perceive, sir, that you use a term 
not familiar to this court ; will you please explain to the 
court what you mean by a military commission ?" To 
this I replied : " As I understand the matter, when the 
United States forces landed and took possession of Yera 
Cruz and the surrounding country, all the civil magis 
trates fled, and the civil courts of Mexico were suspended. 
Hence arose, from the existing status of war, the necessity 
for a tribunal which could adjudicate and punish offenses 
committed by United States soldiers against citizens or 
each other, or by citizens against soldiers, or even by 
Mexican citizens against each other. This class of cases 
could not be lawfully tried by any military court consti 
tuted under the rules and articles of war. The foreign 
territory occupied by the United States forces being, then, 
practically and of necessity under martial law, General 
Scott conceived the plan of assembling what he desig- 


nated ( military commissions, which were composed of a 
number of officers of the army acting as jurors, and gov 
erned by the common law of the United States, which 
followed its armies in their camps, and by this tribunal 
all such cases, not strictly military in nature, were dis 
posed of." 

When I had finished, Mr. Carlisle arose and said, 
" Your Honor may thank the witness for a lucid ex 
planation of a question which has puzzled the most acute 
lawyers for two hundred years past." I knew how much 
controversy there had been over the rights and powers of 
" martial law," and supposed Mr. Carlisle meant to make 
a point for his side, by a little sarcasm on the witness. I 
said then, " I am no lawyer, your Honor, but have en 
deavored to give you, to the best of my ability, what I 
suppose to be the true explanation of the matter." 

Since the war of the rebellion, Mr. Bradley, and other 
lawyers of high authority, have told me I did give the 
true explanation. Upon this principle, then, which it 
seems I had rightly apprehended, and which General 
Scott s General Orders, No. 287, had elucidated, Con 
gress enacted several laws during the civil war, making 
military commissions a legal tribunal. They were made 
use of in many exceedingly important instances, notably 
for the trial of the conspirators in the murder of Presi 
dent Lincoln. Washington was a garrisoned town, having 
in and around it several thousand soldiers, to protect the 
public officials and the public property. The President 
was commander-in-chief of the army, and his murder was 
adjudged to be clearly within the statutes. 

In the codification of the military laws, the only trace 
left of military commissions is in section 1,343 of the 


Revised Statutes, which provides for the trial of spies 
before them. A much larger scope of offenses, however, 
such as murder, robbery, etc., has been added to the list 
which a general court-martial may try ; and orders No. 
100, of the year 1863, prepared by Dr. Francis Lieber, 
LL. D., with much wisdom and learning, containing " In 
structions for the Government of Armies of the United 
States in the Field," supplied a great gap in the codes of 
the world. It is now ingrafted upon the regulations for 
the army. 



Medals of honor Recommendations "Kearny patch" Red, white and 
blue Legal recognition Legends Devices. 

MEDALS. As soon as news of the civil war in the 
United States became known in Europe, many persons 
who had been officers in foreign armies came to offer 
their services to the Government. It frequently hap 
pened that these gentlemen brought letters of introduc 
tion and testimonials of their military career. Sometimes 
they came accredited to our Department of State. They 
usually paid their respects to General Scott, and not un- 
frequently, on such an occasion, wore their uniform, with 
all their decorations medals or orders. There were many 
men in our volunteer service who had served abroad, and 
it was quite the habit among them to display on their uni 
forms such marks of distinction if they possessed them. 


It is no wonder if they were objects of envy to many of 
our young aspirants for military glory. 

The experience of the Mexican War, when the honor 
of a brevet was so often persistently sought for through 
political influence, sometimes without any special military 
merit to sustain it, early suggested to me the probability 
that the same evil in magnified form would arise during 
the civil war. It was very desirable, therefore, if pos 
sible, to prevent what afterward actually happened, the 
destruction of the practical benefit arising from the brevet 
system. Instead of tardy and sometimes indiscriminate 
recommendations for brevets, why should not our gener 
als, when in command of armies in time of war, be clothed 
with the power of rewarding distinguished acts of bravery, 
on the instant, by issuing orders conferring a medal for 
them, such orders to be as soon as possible confirmed and 
executed by the War Department \ Mistakes would rarely, 
if ever, be made ; * and the excellent effect of a prompt rec 
ognition of gallantry in battle is no new thing in history. 

* On one occasion, a commanding general, after a successful battle, sent 
a number of men, who had captured flags, to present them in person to the 
Secretary of War. The Secretary received them publicly at the department, 
and, as each one delivered his trophy, the Secretary pronounced his name, 
and ordered a medal of honor to be conferred on him. He then gave them 
collectively the thanks of the department for their distinguished bravery. 
Among them was a foreigner who bore a small, dirty, torn flag. When he 
produced it, I observed something in his manner that struck me unfavorably. 
His truly brave comrades, appreciating the high honor they had fairly won 
and ashamed of such companionship, exposed his imposture. His flag was 
originally found in an abandoned camp of the enemy, and had been borne 
in derision on the bayonets of our men, tossed from one to another, until, 
weary of the sport, they had cast it into the bushes. This fellow had picked 
it up, and had the effrontery to come forward as its captor in battle, and to 
claim a medal for it. He did not get one. 


Impressed with these ideas, I, early in 1861, urged 
their adoption upon General Scott, and upon the chair 
man of the Senate Military Committee, the Secretary of 
War, and others in influence. They objected that it was 
contrary to the spirit of our institutions to wear decora 
tions, and therefore the measure would not be popular. 
I instanced the pride which children feel in wearing 
medals won at school, and the pains taken by parents to 
foster it ; and suggested that, if those who won medals 
did not choose to wear them, they would none the less 
value them, and so would their descendants after them. 
Nothing was done in that direction, however, until the 
12th of July, 1862, when Coagress passed a resolution 
to award medals of honor to enlisted men, which, by 
the act of March 3, 1863, was extended to officers also. 
These medals, although intrinsically of but little value, 
have been eagerly sought for and highly prized. The 
main objection to them is the mode of conferring, under 
which years have sometimes elapsed before sufficiently re 
liable testimony could be obtained that the claimant was 
justly entitled to one, according to the terms of the 

In my annual report of October 31, 1864, the matter 
was presented to the notice of the Secretary of War, and 
of Congress, in these words : 

"The medal of honor is of bronze, of neat device, 
and is highly prized by those on whom it has been be 
stowed. Hitherto no medals have been conferred upon 
commissioned officers, apparently under the idea that at 
some future day their acts of distinguished bravery would 
be recognized by brevets. It is believed that, in the 


majority of cases, the award of a gold or a silver medal 
would be quite as acceptable as the brevet, and of more 
substantial value, especially in the volunteer service. . . . 
If an act were passed to authorize it, a prompt and grati 
fying acknowledgment of distinguished services could be 
made, by publishing a general order awarding to the offi 
cer the gold medal or the silver medal, with the privi 
lege of engraving thereon the name and date of the battle 
in which his gallantry was conspicuous. In case of his 
again winning distinction, he would be authorized in 
general orders to add to the inscription upon his medal 
the name and date of his new exploit. If both gold and 
silver medals were authorized, there would be no objec 
tion to the same officer being the recipient of both, if 
won by meritorious conduct at different times, and differ 
ent in degree. The system of medals need in no wise 
interfere with the conferring of brevet rank in cases 
where such rank might be actually exercised in high com 
mands, or at the discretion of the President ; but it would 
relieve the pressure for brevets on the part of the many 
officers who justly believe they have won a title to some 
mark of honor, and would avoid the many vexed ques 
tions likely to arise from the possession of brevet rank 
by so large a number of officers as can reasonably prefer 
a claim to reward." 

CORPS-BADGES. As a sort of substitute for medals, 
the corps-badges have come to be regarded as a proud 
mark of distinction, and memorial of service in the war. 
It would be difficult to describe the true sentiment con 
nected with them in more eloquent language than that 
used by the commander of the Twenty-fifth Corps, in his 


order announcing the device for his command.* So 
highly are they valued, that large sums have often been 
expended on presentation gold and jeweled badges. Yet 
there seems to be one objection to these badges : there is 
nothing to prevent their being worn by any man who 
served, whether meritoriously or not, during the war. 
Once only, so far as is known, was an attempt made to 
restrict their use, and that was by resolutions passed at 
a meeting of officers and enlisted men belonging to the 
Army of the Cumberland, f 

The adoption of badges appears to have originated in 
the " Kearny patch." One day, when his brigade was 
on the march, General Philip Kearny, who was a strict 
disciplinarian, saw some officers standing under a tree by 
the road side. Supposing them to be stragglers from his 
command, he administered to them a rebuke, emphasized 
by a few expletives. The officers listened in silence, re 
spectfully standing in the " position of a soldier," until 
he had finished, when one of them, raising his hand to 
his cap, quietly suggested that the general had possibly 
made a mistake, as they none of them belonged to his 
command. With his usual courtesy Kearny exclaimed : 
" Pardon me ; I will take steps to know how to recognize 
my own men hereafter." Immediately on reaching camp, 
he issued orders that all officers and men of his brigade 
should wear conspicuously on the front of their caps a 
round piece of red cloth, to designate them. This became 
generally known as the " Kearny patch." After the bat 
tle of Fair Oaks, or Seven Pines, it was observed that the 
Confederate prisoners universally wore strips of red, blue, 

* See " Badge of the Twenty-fifth Corps," p. 188. 

f See "Badge of the Army of the Cumberland," p. 195. 


or white cloth on their caps, which they said were to 
designate the commands to which they belonged. Gen 
eral Kearny, in conversation with General Hooker, en 
thusiastically instanced this as illustrating the utility of 
his " patch." 

General D. B. Birney, in his General Orders No. 49, 
dated September 4, 1862, from the headquarters of Kear- 
ny s division, announced the death of General Philip 
Kearny. After the usual requirement to wear crape on 
the left arm for thirty days, the order says : " To still 
further show our regard for him, and to distinguish his 
officers as he wished, each officer will continue to wear 
on his cap a piece of scarlet cloth, or have the top or 
crown-piece of cap made of scarlet cloth" 

After the " Kearny patch," several army corps, one 
by one, adopted distinctive badges. The divisions of each 
corps were indicated by one of the colors red, white, blue, 
and green and orange, if there were more than three 
divisions, upon some part of the badges. They were 
either suspended by the tricolored ribbon, or fastened 
with a pin. As there were usually three divisions in a 
corps, the national colors were the ones sure to be repre 
sented. For the headquarters, some slight modifications 
were made in the form worn by the divisions. When 
several army corps were consolidated into an u army," 
the badge of that army headquarters consisted of a com 
bination in one of all those of the corps. But it is be 
lieved that, with the exception of the Army of the Cum 
berland, the " army-badges " were adopted by societies of 
the several armies subsequent to the war. The badges 
were painted on the wagons of the corps, and stenciled 
on all its articles of public property. 


Corps-badges have now a legal recognition in the Re 
vised Statutes of the United States : 

" SECTION 1,227. All persons who have served as 
officers, non-commissioned officers, privates, or other en 
listed men, in the regular army, volunteer, or militia 
forces of the United States, during the war of the rebel 
lion, and have been honorably discharged from the ser 
vice, or still remain in the same, shall be entitled to wear, 
on occasions of ceremony, the distinctive army-badge or 
dered for or adopted by the army corps and division 
respectively in which they served." 

General Joseph Hooker probably belongs the credit of 
first having issued orders for the adoption of regular corps- 
badges, to be worn by officers and enlisted men of all the 
regiments of various corps through the entire Army of the 
Potomac. Just before the Chancellorsville campaign, on 
the 21st of March, 1863, he issued a circular prescribing 
the device for a badge for each corps, " for the purpose 
of ready recognition of corps and divisions of this army, 
and to prevent injustice by reports of straggling and mis 
conduct, through mistake as to their organizations."* 
They were to be " fastened on the center of the top of 
the cap." The devices seem to have been arbitrarily 
chosen, without particular significance. 

In obedience to orders from the War Department, 
Major-General Meade, in his General Orders, No. 10, of 

* This same phraseology was used in the Orders No. 62, April 26, 1864, 
announcing the badges of corps in the Department of the Cumberland. 


March 24, 1864, consolidated the Second, Fifth, and Sixth 
Army Corps into two divisions, transferred two divisions 
of the Third Corps to the Second Corps, and the third 
Division to the Sixth Corps. In this order he directed 
that the troops transferred should preserve " their badges 
and distinctive marks." This was done by combining 
their old badges with their new ones. 



[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 23, 1861.] 


[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 23, 1861.] 




[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 21, 1863.] 


[General Orders, No. 62, Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland, 
April 26, 1864.] 

The Fourth Corps, which was commanded by General 
E. D. Keyes, was discontinued August 1, 1863, before 
the adoption of this badge. 




[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 21, 1863.] 

When the Army of the Potomac was reorganized, in 
March, 1864, and the First Corps was consolidated with 
the Fifth, the men who were transferred from the old 
First then combined the badges of the two corps, thus : * 

[General Orders, No. 10, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 24, 


* The author is indebted to Mr. J. W. Kirkley, of the Adjutant-General s 
Office, for this and other interesting items. 




[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 21, 1863.] 

The men transferred from the old Third Corps to the 
Sixth combined the lozenge and cross of the two corps, 

[General Orders, No. 10, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 24, 




[Circular, Headquarters, Department of Arkansas, June 1, 1865.] 
* The author is indebted to Mr. J. W. Kirkley, of the Adjutant-General s 
Office, for this and other interesting items. 


The Seventh Corps, which served in the Department 
of Virginia, and was commanded by Major-General John 
A. Dix, was discontinued August 1, 1863, and was quite 
different from the Seventh which served in the Depart 
ment of Arkansas. 



[No order issued.] 


[General Orders, No. 6, Headquarters, Ninth Corps, April 10, 1864, and 
General Orders, No. 49, December 23, 1864.] 

This corps served afloat for some time. 





[General Orders, No. 18, Headquarters, Tenth Corps, July 25, 1864,] 

This corps was employed in the reduction of forts on 
the seaboard, and was under General Terry at the cap 
ture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. This service sug 
gested the device. 



[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 21, 1863.] 




[Circular, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March 21, 1863.] 

This corps was consolidated with the Eleventh Corps, 
to form the Twentieth, April 18, 1864. The Twentieth 
adopted its badge. 

(Xo badge adopted.) 



[General Orders, No. 62, Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland, 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, April 26, 1864.] 

From General Jefferson C. Davis this legend of the 
Acorn-Badge was received : After the battle of Chicka- 
mauga, Roser s army made a stand at and around Chat 
tanooga. Rosecrans s army, owing to exceedingly muddy 
roads, and the cutting of its lines of communication by 
the Confederates, had great difficulty in getting supplies. 
The Fourteenth Corps was encamped near a wood of oak- 
trees, which were at that time covered with acorns. As 
the rations fell short, many of the men gathered the 
acorns and ate them roasted, till at length it was observed 
that they had become quite an important part of the 


ration, and the men of the corps jestingly called them 
selves " The Acorn-Boys." Receiving an order about that 
time which required the adoption of a corps-badge, the 
acorn was selected by acclamation. 



[General Orders, No. 10, Headquarters, Fifteenth Army Corps, February 

14, 1865.] 

In announcing this badge, Major-General John A. 
Logan, commanding the Fifteenth Corps, says : " If any 
corps in the army has a right to take pride in its badge, 
surely that has which looks back through the long and 
glorious line [enumerating thirty-five engagements and 
battles, and scores of minor struggles ] ; the corps 
which had its birth under Grant and Sherman in the 
darker days of our struggle ; the corps which will keep 
on struggling until the death of rebellion." 


The device of the badge of the Fifteenth Corps was 
suggested by the following incident : The Eleventh and 
Twelfth Corps were transferred from the Army of the 
Potomac to the Department of the Cumberland. They 
were better dressed than the other troops of that depart 
ment, and a little rivalry sprang up between these East 
ern boys and those who came from the West. The latter 
spoke of the former as " the men who wore paper shirt- 
collars, and crescents and stars." Before the Fifteenth 
Corps had any badge, an Irishman belonging to it went 
to the river near camp to fill his canteen. There he met 
a soldier of one of the newly arrived corps, whose badges 
were the subject of ridicule by his comrades. The latter 
saluted the Irishman with the query, "What corps do 
you belong to \ " " The Fifteenth, sure." " Well, then, 
where is your badge ? " " My badge, is it ? Well " (clap 
ping his hand on his cartridge-box), " here s my badge ! 
Forty rounds ! It s the orders to always have forty rounds 
in our cartridge-box, and we always do." 

The badge of this corps is sometimes erroneously represented as follows : 

[No order issued.] 


From Colonel J. J. Lyon, Assistant Inspector-General, 
Sixteenth Corps, the following correct description of the 
badge is derived : 



spaces represent the shape of the balls cut out, and the 
remainder forms a cross resembling the Maltese, with the 
lines curved." 

The badge was suspended from a ring attached to the 
points of two arms of the cross, instead of the center of 
one arm, to distinguish the device more clearly from 
the Maltese cross, previously adopted by the Nineteenth 

It having been determined to assume a badge for the 
Sixteenth Corps, several of the officers made designs, 
which, by common consent, were put in a hat, and the 
one drawn out was accepted. The design contrived by 



brevet Brigadier-General John Hough, assistant adju 
tant-general of the corps, was drawn out, and received 
the approval of the corps commander, Major-General A. 
J. Smith. " The new badge was then and there duly con 
secrated, adopted, baptized, by the usual ceremonies prac 
ticed in the army on such momentous occasions,* . . . and 
named the A. J. Smith Cross," in honor of the first com 
mander of the corps after a badge was adopted by it. 

General Hough, the author of the design, has given 
the following account of the rule by which it was con 
structed : 

" In any circle draw two diameters perpendicular to 
each other, dividing the circle into four quarters ; bisect 
the arc of each quarter, and, with the bisecting points as a 
center, and a radius five sixths of the radius of the origi 
nal circle, inscribe segments of a circle ; cut out the parts 

* We are not informed what these ceremonies were. Did the spirit of 
the Widow Cliquot inspire them ? 



inclosed between anj two of these segments, and the 
remainder will be the badge of the Sixteenth Army 



[General Orders, No. 1, Headquarters, Seventeenth Corps, March 25, 1865.] 

Major-General Francis P. Blair says in his order : 
" The badge now used by the corps being similar to one 
formerly adopted by another corps, the major-general 
commanding has concluded to adopt, as a distinguishing 
badge for the command, an arrow. 

"In its swiftness, in its surety of striking where 
wanted, and in its destructive powers when so intended, 
it is probably as emblematical of this corps as any design 
that could be adopted." 



[Circular, June 7, 1864, and General Orders, No. 108, of August 25, 1864, 
Headquarters, Eighteenth Corps.] 




[General Orders, No. 11, Headquarters, Nineteenth Corps, November 17, 



A STAR WITH FIVE RASS, as heretofore worn by the Twelfth Corps. 

[General Orders, No. 62, Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland, 
April 26, 1864.] 

This corps was formed by consolidating the Eleventh 
and Twelfth Corps, April 18, 1864. For some time after 



the consolidation the men of the old Eleventh combined 
the two badges thus : 

[No badge was ever adopted.] 



[No order issued.] 

The signification of this design seems to be a build 
ing inside defensive works, in allusion to the continued 
service of the corps in and around Washington. 




[No order issued for its adoption; but Special Orders, No. 21, Head 
quarters, First Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, near Raleigh, North 
Carolina, April 16, 1865, directs that " the badges which have just been 
issued to this command will be worn upon the top of the cap, or left side 
of the hat."] 

General J. D. Cox has kindly furnished the following 
information concerning this badge : 

"It was adopted at the beginning of the Atlanta 
campaign (spring of 1864). There was no legend con 
nected with it. 

" The Twenty-third Corps had been intimately asso 
ciated with the Ninth (under Burnside) in the campaign 
in East Tennessee in 1863, being organized in that year 
for the purpose of becoming part of Burn side s Army of 
the Ohio. 

" This association led to our adopting a shield some 
what similar in form to the badge of the Ninth Corps, 
but with sufficient marks of distinction. 

" To secure uniformity in the shape and proportions 
of the badge, the following rules were established for 
constructing or drawing it, which I draughted, and am 
therefore able to reproduce : 



"With the radius AC, strike the curves CB and 
AB, from the centers A and C respectively. Make AD 
and C F perpendicular, and one fourth A C in length. 
Strike the curves D E and E F with radius of one half 
A C. Make the inner curves parallel to the outer ones. 
From G, the middle of A B, draw GO in the direction 
of F , and draw G 7 O in like manner in the direction of 
D . Complete the radiating bars, and tint the panels red, 
white, and blue. The border and divisions between the 
panels are gilt. 

" The above is for corps headquarters, and was dis 
played on a blue silk banner, with fringed edge. 

" For divisions, all the panels were of one tint : first 
division, red ; second division, white ; third division, 


" For brigades, the flags were of bunting, the shield 
smaller, of same color as division to which the brigade 
belonged ; one small shield in upper corner next the staff 
for first brigade, two small shields for second brigade, 
and three for third. 

" The same badge was painted on the covers of all 
wagons and ambulances, etc,, substituting yellow for the 
gilt border." 


[General Orders, No. 32, Headquarters, Twenty-fourth Corps, March 18, 


This corps was organized late in the war, and was for 
the most part composed of veterans who had served in 
other corps. Major-General John Gibbon, in his orders 
adopting the badge, says : " The symbol selected is one 
which testifies our affectionate regard for all our brave 
comrades alike the living and the dead who have 
braved the perils of this mighty conflict, and our devo 
tion to the sacred cause a cause which entitles us to the 
sympathy of every brave and true heart, and the support 
of every strong and determined hand. 


" The major-general commanding the corps does not 
doubt that soldiers who have given their strength and 
blood to the fame of their former badges will unite in 
rendering the present one even more renowned than 
those under which they have heretofore marched to 



[Orders, February 20, 1865, Headquarters, Twenty-fifth Corps, Army of the 
James, Virginia.] 


This corps was composed entirely of colored soldiers. 
It was the first to occupy Richmond, Virginia, April 3, 
1865. The following is Major-General Godfrey WeitzePs 
order : 

" In view of the circumstances under which this corps 
was raised and filled, the peculiar claims of its individual 
members upon the justice and fair dealing of the preju 
diced, and the regularity of the conduct of the troops 
which deserve those equal rights that have hitherto been 
denied the majority, the commanding general has been 
induced to adopt the square as the distinctive badge of 
the Twenty-fifth Army Corps. 

" Wherever danger has been found and glory to be 


won, the heroes who have fought for immortality have 
been distinguished by some emblem to which every vic 
tory added a new luster. They looked upon their badge 
with pride, for to it they had given its fame. In the 
homes of smiling peace it recalled the days of coura 
geous endurance and the hours of deadly strife, and it 
solaced the moment of death, for it was a symbol of a 
life of heroism and self-denial. The poets still sing of 
the Templar s cross, the i crescent of the Turk, the 
4 chalice of the hunted Christian, and the white plume 
of Murat, that crested the wave of valor, sweeping resist- 
lessly to victory. 

" Soldiers ! to you is given a chance, in this Spring 
campaign, of making this badge immortal. Let history 
record that, on the banks of the James, thirty thousaad 
freemen not only gained their own liberty, but shattered 
the prejudice of the world, and gave to the land of their 
birth peace, union, and glory." 

[No order issued.] 
(This corps was organized in 1864.) 


To Major-General Hancock s courtesy is due the in 
formation that this badge was designed by his " chief of 
staff, General C. II. Morgan, and had no special legend 
or significance attached to it, the object being to have it 
as distinct and different as possible from other corps 
badges, so that it might be easily distinguished and rec 
ognized when worn by troops in campaign." 

It may be thus described : A circle is surrounded by 
a double wreath of laurel. A wide red band passes ver 
tically through the center of the circle. Outside the 
laurel- wreath, rays form a figure with seven sides of con 
cave curves. Seven hands, springing from the circum 
ference of the laurel-wreath, grasp spears, the heads of 
which form the seven points of the external radiated 




[No order issued.] 
(This badge was only worn by commissioned officers.) 



Concerning this badge, Colonel Gerrard Irvine White- 
head, who served on the staff of the corps, kindly gives 
the information that, while General Pleasanton com 
manded the corps, he (Colonel Whitehead) was charged 
with procuring a badge. He accordingly caused a num 
ber to be made, but they were not ready for delivery un 
til the summer of 1864. Meanwhile, General Sheridan 
came in command, and the corps was " entirely too busy 
to think about badges." It thus happened that few, if 
any, were ever worn by the enlisted men. 



[No order issued.] 

From Generals J. H. Wilson and Edward Hatch the 
following facts are derived : The rifle was the badge of 



the Fifth Division of this corps (formerly First Division 
of the Army of the Tennessee). The red swallow-tail 
guidon, with sabers crossed upon it, was the flag of the 
corps headquarters. The corps badge, a combination of 
the rifle (or the Spencer carbine, " which was found to be 
a most efficacious arm ") and the guidon, was adopted by 
a committee of officers belonging to the corps. 



[No order issued.] 

This cavalry served in the Seventh Corps in Arkansas. The crescent 
and star were the badge of Moonlight s division. The shank of the spur 
was bent, to represent the figure 7 of the corps. 



[No order issued.] 

Mr. Thomas Haslam, of the Adjutant-General s office, 
gives the following interesting statement : 

Ouster s dashing style, as he rode at the head of his 
command, whether in the act of charging in real, earnest 
war, or peacefully marching in review, is as well known 
as his name. He wore his hair long, and flowing in care 
less curls about his neck. His collar was open at the 
front, only loosely confined by a bright-red scarf tied 
with a sailor-knot. His men, in this, as in their conduct, 
caught the spirit of their commander, and all wore the 
red scarf. They could be distinguished at a long distance 
by this their only badge. 



[No order issued.] 




the implements used in signaling, the flags by day and the torch by night. 
The star on the left flag is red ; the scroll in the right one is blue ; the 
flame of the torch is red and gilt. 



[General Orders, No. 2, Headquarters, Department of West Virginia, Jan 
uary 3, 1865.] 




[General Orders, No. 41, Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland, 
Nashville, Tennessee, June 19, 1865.] 

Major-General George H. Thomas published the pro 
ceedings of a meeting of the officers and enlisted men of 
the Army of the Cumberland, held " for the purpose of 
considering the propriety of adopting a badge to signalize 
and perpetuate the history of the Army of the Cumber 

" It was unanimously agreed to adopt such a badge" ; 


and, " on motion, the following preamble and resolutions 
were adopted : 

" Whereas, Many of the soldiers of the Army of the 
Cumberland are about to abandon the profession of arms, 
and again mingle in the peaceful pursuits of home : 

" Resolved^ That, in parting with each other, we do 
so with mingled feelings of sorrow, sadness, and pride : 
sorrow, because friends, bound together by ties formed 
on many battle-fields, must part ; sadness at turning our 
backs upon the thousand fresh-made graves of our brave 
comrades ; and pride, because it has been our good for 
tune to be numbered among the members of the Army 
of the Cumberland, and have each done his part in prov 
ing to the world that republics have the ability to main 
tain and perpetuate themselves. 

" Resolved, That, in parting, we do, as we have many 
times done in the face of the enemy, renew our pledges 
of unending fidelity to each other ; and that, in whatever 
position of life we may happen to be, we will never per 
mit our affections to be estranged from those who con 
tinue to fight our battles, but that we will sustain and 
defend them at all times and in all proper places. 

" Resolved^ That the following-named persons, and 
none others, are authorized to wear the badge of the 
Army of the Cumberland : 

" 1. All soldiers of that army now in service and in 
good standing. 

" 2. All soldiers who formerly belonged to that army, 
and have received honorable discharges from the same. 

"Resolved, That any soldier of the Army of the 
Cumberland who is now entitled to wear the badge of 
the arrny, who may hereafter be dishonorably dismissed 


the service, shall, by such discharge, forfeit the right to 
wear such badge. 

" Resolved, That we exhort all members of the Army 
of the Cumberland to discountenance any attempt on the 
part of unauthorized persons to arrogate to themselves 
honor to which they are not entitled, by wearing our 



Inevitable Stars and Stripes The Southern Cross The Stars and Bars 
The battle-flag The white flag Its surrender to the Monitor The 
black flag. 

DURING the war a large number of Confederate flags, 
captured in battle > were sent to Washington, where they 
were kept in a room, a few being displayed as samples. 
They were an object of great interest, constantly visited 
by sight-seers. Many of these flags also found their way 
to Capitols of the loyal States, where they were preserved 
among the mementos of volunteer regiments. It was 
once suggested that the captured Confederate flags should 
be deposited at the West Point Military Academy among 
similar trophies of other wars ; but this was not done, 
because, while the Government insisted on loyalty to it, 
it deemed it not proper to perpetuate in the minds of 
its young soldiers any feeling of exultation on the one 
side, or of regret on the other, in connection with such 
objects after the war was all over. 

Doubtless many flags captured from Union troops 


were also preserved by the Confederates. Indeed, some 
were found at Richmond at the time of its occupation 
by the Union forces, and sent with the rebel archives to 
"Washington. There was also found at Richmond a col 
lection of designs proposed by many persons for the Con 
federate national flag. Over two hundred devices were 
submitted, accompanied by letters explaining their sym 
bolic meaning. It is noticeable that in a very large pro 
portion of the plans there is some combination of stars, 
or of stripes, or of both. At first sight it would appear 
that this showed only an accidental association of ideas, 
and a want of originality in the designers. This view 
would naturally be strengthened by the tone of hostility 
to the Union seen in their newspapers. But the corre 
spondence on the subject betrays much warm affection 
for the old flag, and gives undoubted proof that the em 
blems were intentionally retained, the main object of the 
authors being to form such a combination of colors, or 
arrangements of the stars, or stripes, or both, as to avoid 
fatal mistakes in battle. 

One gentleman wrote, in February, 1861 : " Those 
stars and stripes which have been so honorably borne to 
every accessible sea, and have so proudly fluttered to 
every breeze of the habitable globe, will ever be cher 
ished and admired by true American hearts. May they 
ever be the flag of all American republics formed out 
of the once confederated States the United States of 
America without marring the beauty of that proud flag 
as it is, or that chaste blending of the ( red, white, and 
blue, which makes it the grandest in the world ! 

" If your convention, looking to the formation of a 
Southern republic, and the adoption of the stars and 


stripes for its flag, lias not already devised one, I would 
respectfully and modestly suggest the substitution of a 
renowned constellation, < the Southern Cross (both em 
blematic and suggestive) for the union of stars now in 
the blue field of the present flag of the United States, 
and that a star for each State be placed on one of the 
central stripes, so the stars and stripes may yet be the flag 
of your new as they were of the old republic." 

In the same month another wrote in relation to a flag 
for the Southern Confederacy : " I would respectfully 
suggest that we have one not only plain and of striking 
contrast in color, but approximating to, yet differing es 
sentially from, the flag of the United States. This flag 
we can not but regard as one under which our common 
country has risen to unexampled prosperity, and under 
which also some of the most noble achievements of the 
present age have been accomplished, lifting our national 
reputation into a truly high and commanding position, 
and to which proud elevation none certainly have con 
tributed more than our own native brethren of the sunny 

Another, in sending a design, says : " We still have a 
6 star-spangled banner, which is dear to the people from 
old associations, and we can afford to let the Yankees 
keep the stripes. We are entitled to a star-spangled 
banner, because the best poetry in honor of it was com 
posed by a Southern man, and the incident which occa 
sioned its composition occurred on Southern soil, and 
reflected honor on Southern soldiers." 

One says : " I have taken the liberty to recommend 
to your attention the manifest propriety of adopting the 
6 star-spangled banner as the flag of the Southern Con- 


federacy, changing only the color of the red stripes to 
blue. That flag is as dear to every true Southern heart 
as a babe to its mother s affections." 

Another said : " Do retain the l stars and stripes. It 
belongs to the South as much as to the North. It is not 
an abolition flag. Colonel Jefferson Davis (now Presi 
dent Davis) won glory under it in Mexico ; so did the 
Palmetto Regiment." 

And another : " Let the Yankees keep their ridiculous 
tune of Yankee Doodle, * but, by all that is sacred, do 
not let them monopolize the stars and stripes. You have 
fought well under our glorious banner ; could you tight 
as well under another ? Never ! Change it, improve it, 
alter it as you will, but, for Heaven s sake, keep the stars 
and stripes ! " 

Another says : " I refer to the important feature that 
your flag, though sufficiently peculiar to give national 
individuality to the emblem, still possesses the attribute 
of retaining all the hallowed associations which, both 
at home and abroad, have for years, in every American 
breast, clustered around the stars and stripes of a nation 
once the most glorious the world ever beheld ; and of 
that nation we ourselves and all the world can not fail to 
remember that the Southern States were but lately its 
proudest element, blest in its privileges, blest in its wade- 
spread fraternal love, and equal in the possession of all 
its common glories, past, present, and prospective." 

Another : " Pray do no t give up the stars and stripes 

* The Yankees did keep it ; but Mr. Lincoln, when he was serenaded 
on a certain occasion, being asked what tune he would like to have, called 
for the Confederate tune, " Dixie," saying, " I believe we have captured 
that tune, and have a right to it now." 


to the North. It is ours as fully as it is theirs. It is 
hallowed by associations and memories, and is dear to 
every military and naval officer, every soldier and tar, 
and every citizen who has seen it float in a foreign land. 
Keep the stripes, keep the azure field and a star for 
each sovereignty in the constellation, and then distinguish 
it by a red cross (the Southern Cross), cutting the stripes 
at right angles. This is a very important matter. The 
songs of a nation and its flag have a prodigious moral 

One says : " I don t like the cross. It is significant 
of Catholic rule, and, besides, had too much to do with 
the machinery of the dark ages. The old stars must, I 
think, be abandoned. They belong to night, and, besides, 
the North will keep them. It is morning with us. The 
stripes are distinctive, and ought to be preserved ; but let 
there be seven stripes, one for each of the original States, 
as the thirteen were for the original States of the old 
Confederacy. Suppose these stripes be vertical instead 
of horizontal?" 

At the first session of the Provisional Congress, the 
committee on a flag and seal made its report, which was 
more or less shaped by the many expressions of feeling 
on the subject. The report said : " Whatever attachment 
may be felt from association for the stars and stripes (an 
attachment which your committee may be permitted to 
say they do not all share), it is manifest that, in inaugu 
rating a new government, we can not with any propriety 
or without encountering obvious difficulties, retain the 
flag of the Government from which we have withdrawn. 
... As to the glories of the old flag, we must bear in 
mind that the battles of the Revolution, about which our 


fondest and proudest memories cluster, were not fought 
beneath its folds ; and, although in more recent times 
in the War of 1812 and in the war with Mexico the 
South did win her fair share of glory and shed her full 
measure of blood under its guidance and in its defense, 
we think the impartial page of history will preserve and 
commemorate the fact more imperishably than a mere 
piece of stupid bunting." 

The design recommended by this committee, and 
which was adopted by the Provisional Government, was 
known as the " Stars and Bars." It was thus described : 

" To consist of a red field, with a white space extend 
ing horizontally through the center, and equal in width 
to one third the width of the flag ; the red spaces, above 
and below, to be of the same width as the white ; the 
union blue extending down through the white space, 
and stopping at the lower red space ; in the center of the 
union a circle of white stars corresponding in number 
with the States in the Confederacy." 







This was the " stars and stripes," with the same colors, 
only the stripes were wider, and but three in number ; 
and the stars were arranged in a circle, as in the old 
United States national flag before the States of the Union 
became so numerous. 

Immediately after the Confederate Government took 
the place of the Southern Provisional Government, the 
question of adopting another flag was agitated. The 
joint committee appointed for the purpose offered, in 
April, 1862, a device, with a report, in which it said : 
" Nearly all the designs submitted to the committee con 
tained a combination of stars. This heraldic emblem, 
however, has been discarded, as a manifestation of our 
entire and absolute severance from the United States, 
and a complete annihilation of every sentiment indicat 
ing the faintest hope of reconstruction." The chairman 
of the committee said that " it might be a matter of sur 
prise to those who had always been so enthusiastic on the 
subject of the beauty of the stars and stripes, that there 
never was a single star emblazoned on any flag of the old 
United States. They were nothing but mullets, or imita 
tions of the rowels of the spurs of the knight, and five- 
pointed. But the committee had fallen upon those he 
raldic emblems, and had adopted the device of the great 
luminary of day before which all stars shall pale and fade 
into obscurity." 

The " Eichmond Examiner " described this device as 
" a red field, bestraddled with a long-legged white cross, 
in the center of which (the cross) there is a blue Norman 
shield, and in the center of that again a Lord Eosse s tele 
scope may discover a star of the fifth magnitude, which 
is intended to represent a sun." The committee intended 


the rajs of the sun to correspond in number with the 
States composing the Confederacy. 

This device was not adopted. Yerily, it was hard to 
get away from the stars and stripes the red, white, and 

Since the first battle of Bull Eun, the Confederate 
armies had been using a battle-flag the origin of which 
was thus given by a Southern paper, in March, 1863 : 
" We have always thought that General Joseph E. John 
ston settled the question of a national flag when he se 
lected the blue-spangled saltier upon a red field as his 
battle-ensign. It may be recollected that the choice was 
made in consequence of the difficulty that had been seri 
ously felt, in the first battle of Manassas, in distinguish 
ing between the Yankee colors and our own, and at a 
time when the two hostile armies were confronting each 
other on the plains of Fairfax, with a prospect of a 
renewal of the bloody fight at any moment. Haste was 
necessary in the preparation of the flags, and secrecy was 
also desirable, lest the enemy should discover our change 
of colors, and provide themselves with counterfeits to be 
basely used for our own destruction. General Johnston s 
pattern was thereupon sent to Richmond, and seventy- 
five ladies from each one of four or five churches were 
set to work making the battle-flags. Their fair fingers 
wrought silk and bunting into the prescribed shape and 
arrangement of colors ; but, despite the injunction of in 
violable confidence, the device was known the subse 
quent day all over the capital. How could General John 
ston expect four or five hundred female tongues to be 
silent on the subject ? No harm was done by the dis 
closure, however, and, when next the brave troops of the 



Confederacy went into the fight, those flags were seen 
dancing in the breeze, the symbol of hope to the defend 
ers of our country, wherever the fire was the deadliest 
over the crimson field, borne always aloft where follower 
and foe might behold it, ever the chosen perch of victory 
ere the fight was done. Could these gay little pieces of 
the handiwork of the women of Richmond be collected 
now, what emotions would not the sight of them awaken, 
blackened as they are with the smoke of powder, riddled 
with bullets, many of them stained with the blood, the 
last drops, that welled up from the heart of a patriot 


A member of the Confederate army wrote : " I was 
originally in favor of retaining the old flag, that l star- 
spangled banner at whose very name our hearts were 
wont to thrill. . . . Then the stars and bars became 

our flag, and waved over the heads of our regiments 


when we first marched to guard the borders of Yirginia. 
It retained most of the distinctive features of the old 
flag, but was thought to differ from it sufficiently ; but 
the first field of Manassas proved that it was a mistake. 
The union was the same, the colors were all the same, 
and when the flags drooped around the staff on that sul 
try day it was impossible to distinguish them. There 
was no difficulty, however, when the flags were spread by 
the breeze, and I see no reason why the stars and bars 
should not still float above all forts, ships, and arsenals 
of the Confederacy. But we needed another battle-flag. 
Glorious Old Joe willed it, and the Southern Cross rose 
brightly in the bloody field among the constellations of 
war. It fulfilled all the desiderata of a battle-flag. . . . 
Since that time it has become historic. Displayed on a 
hundred stricken fields, it has never been dishonored. . . . 
Certainly, no soldier desires that Congress should do 
what the Yankees have never been able to do take that 
flag from us." 

A general sentiment had by this time arisen in favor 
of the battle-flag, the only objection made to it being 
that it could not be reversed as a signal of distress. Gen 
eral Beauregard wrote, in April, 1863 : " TVhy change our 
battle-flag, consecrated by the best blood of our country 
on so many battle-fields ? A good design for the national 
flag would be the present battle-flag as union- jack, and 
the rest all white, or all blue." 

This was the design eventually chosen by the Confed 
erate Congress in May, 1863, and was thus described : 

" The field to be white ; the length double the width 
of the flag, with the union (now used in the battle-flag) 
to be a square of two thirds the width of the flag, having 



the ground red, thereon a saltier of blue, bordered with 
white, and emblazoned with mullets, or five-pointed stars, 
corresponding in number to that of the Confederate 

Still the red, white, and blue, and the inevitable 
mullets ! 


Great satisfaction was expressed on all sides at the 
adoption of this new flag. An Atlanta (Georgia) paper 
said : " The design for a flag for the Confederate States 
... is at last decided, and the whole South is satisfied. 
In the new flag is preserved the battle-flag the inven 
tion of Beauregard and Johnston an invention which 
necessity forced upon these Confederate commanders 
soon after the battle of Manassas. In addition to this, 
there is nothing but the white flag. 

" Our old flag always awakens unpleasant reminis 
cences ; it bears too striking a resemblance to the emblem 
of tyranny, the ( stars and stripes. As it was this resem- 


blance which caused it at first to be adopted, so also it 
was this that caused it to be rejected. . . . We, therefore, 
hail our new flag with joy. Every star, every color, is 
sacred and endeared to our hearts and to the hearts of our 
whole people. . . . The large predominance of the color, 
white, can never be mistaken, as alluding to the Christian 
leniency with which we have treated our enemies at all 
times ; the red battle-flag will tell a tale of the heroism of 
our soldiers on which the nations of the earth will hang 
with breathless attention." 

In November, 1861, an English blockade runner, called 
the Fingal, succeeded in getting into Savannah with a 
valuable cargo of arms and ammunition. She was pre 
vented by the United States vessels from going out again 
with a cargo of cotton, as was intended ; and finally was 
changed to an iron-clad vessel of war under the name of 
the Atlanta. She was deemed by the Confederates to be 
their strongest iron-clad. 

On the 17th of June, 1863, accompanied by two other 
steamers, she ran down to Warsaw Sound, to capture the 
United States monitors Weehawken, Captain John Rodg- 
ers, and Nahant, Commander John Downes. The two 
steamers took on board a gay company of ladies from 
Savannah to witness the combat. These vessels were to 
tow the monitors, in the event of their capture, in triumph 
up to Savannah. The new flag was to have been hoisted 
everywhere in the Confederacy on the coming 4th of 
July ; but authority was given for its use the first time 
by the Atlanta in her contest with the two United States 
monitors. The iron-clad was not proof against the tre 
mendous shot of the monitors, and in less than half an 
hour she surrendered to the Weehawken, which had alone 


engaged her, the Nahant not even having had time to 
come into action. The new Confederate flag which she 
was to inaugurate was sent to Washington and hung as a 
trophy in the Navy Department at about the same time 
the law of the Confederate Congress adopting it went into 

At the time of Mr. Jefferson Davis s capture a fresh, 
handsome silk regimental flag a veritable star-spangled 
banner was found among his effects. Why he had 
taken it with him in his flight it is not easy to say ; but 
he, too, evidently found it very difficult to get away from 
the stars and stripes ! 

A Union picket one day discovered two Confeder 
ates having a black flag, with a white disk in the cen 
ter. He watched them until he saw one go for some 
water a short distance off, and the flag resting against 
a tree. With a sudden dash he overpowered the Con 
federate and carried off the flag. This flag was exhibit 
ed among the trophies at Washington, and it was amus 
ing to see the horror with which visitors regarded it, 
accompanied by such exclamations as "A black flag! 
So they really did give no quarter! Here is actual 
proof of it ! " After enjoying their indignation a little 
while, the attendant would explain that this was one 
of the system of signal-flags, and was used against a 
light-tinted sky so as to be distinctly seen, by contrast, 
at a long distance. 

The smoke of battle is now all cleared away. Again 
" hallowed associations, . . . both at home and abroad, 
... in every American breast, cluster around the stars 
and stripes " of this nation. And " the Southern States 


. . . are blest in its privileges, blest in its wide-spread 
fraternal love, and equal in the possession of all its com 
mon glories, past, present, and prospective." * 



A pleasure-trip The programme -Fac-simile of Anderson s dispatch 
The flag-raising Festivities News of the President s death. 

WHEN it became certain that the end of the Confed 
eracy was near at hand, the United States Government 
determined to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of 
Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, by hoisting the Stars 
and Stripes, with imposing ceremonies, over the ruins of 
the fort. Major Robert Anderson, United States Army, 
had evacuated the fort, April 14, 1861, after firing a 
salute to his flag. His Confederate adversary, Brigadier- 
General Beauregard, had agreed to this in these courteous 
terms : " Apprised that you desire the privilege of salut 
ing your flag on retiring, I cheerfully concede it, in con 
sideration of the gallantry with which you have defended 
the place under your charge." And now, on the 14th of 
April, 1865, Brigadier-General Robert Anderson was to 
have the honor of raising that identical flag over the ruins 
of the recaptured fort. 

Secretary Stanton issued orders to that effect, as fol 
lows : 

* See letter, page 200. 




WASHINGTON, March 27, 1865. 

Ordered: first. That at the hour of noon, on the 
14th day of April, 1865, brevet Major-General Anderson 
will raise and plant upon the ruins of Fort Sumter, in 
Charleston Harbor, the same United States flag which 
floated over the battlements of that fort during the rebel 
assault, and which was lowered and saluted by him and 
the small force of his command when the works were 
evacuated on the 14th day of April, 1861. 

Second. That the flag, when raised, be saluted by one 
hundred guns from Fort Sumter, and by a national salute 
from every fort and rebel battery that fired upon Fort 

Third. That suitable ceremonies be had upon the oc 
casion, under the direction of Major-General William T. 
Sherman, whose military operations compelled the reb 
els to evacuate Charleston,* or, in his absence, under the 
charge of Major-General Q. A. Gillmore, commanding the 
department. Among the ceremonies will be the delivery 
of a public address by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. 

fourth. That the naval forces at Charleston, and their 
commander on that station, be invited to participate in 
the ceremonies of the occasion. 

By order of the President of the United States : 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. 

Official : 
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant- General. 

* General Sherman did not stop, in his march north from Savannah, to 
make any demonstration against Charleston ; but, as Anderson remarked^ 
" conquered Charleston by turning his back on it." Sherman s march com 
pelled its evacuation by the Confederates. 


Invitations were sent to such persons as the Secretary 
of War designated ; and the splendid steamer Arago, for 
merly of the line of Havre packets, but chartered by the 
United States as a transport-ship, was employed to convey 
the party to Charleston Harbor. She was commanded 
by that courteous and able seaman, Captain Gadsden. 
Among the guests were, besides Mr. Beecher and Rev. 
Dr. Storrs, of Brooklyn, some of the noted orators and 
prominent abolitionists of the time. 

The Arago sailed from New York April 8th, with 
such of the company as were there, and touched at Fort 
Monroe, Old Point Comfort, Virginia, for others who 
went down from Washington to meet her. The Secre 
tary sent me in charge of the excursion, leaving to my 
discretion all details necessary to make it successful. I 
was much gratified at the notice in one of the newspapers 
of New York, by a correspondent aboard, that among 
those who joined the ship at Fort Monroe was General 
E. D. Townsend, and, " as the representative of the Sec 
retary of War, General Townsend thenceforth, and with 
entire acceptance, occupied the position of our host." 

The ship arrived at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on 
the 12th of April. As there were some days to spare, 
trips were made to Savannah, Beaufort, and Fort Pulaski. 
A number of the party went to Mitchelville, where a sort 
of impromptu town had been established for the " f reed- 
men," as they began to be styled. At this last place there 
was abundance of speech-making. Mr. Beecher preferred 
to remain in quiet at Hilton Head, and employed himself 
in preparing his address. Finding that there were nu 
merous pieces of poetry and other effusions offered for a 
part of the ceremonies, and that many persons were de- 


sirous of actively participating in them, among whom 
were some who went down in the steamer Oceanus, which 
they chartered for the trip, I conceived it necessary to 
form a programme which should strictly Kmit the per 
formances. General Anderson was greatly in favor of 
excluding all but the religious feature, but we at last 
agreed upon one which apparently proved satisfactory to 
the entire assemblage. While the principal parts were 
taken by a few, every one had the opportunity of swell 
ing the grand chorus to the " Star-spangled Banner," and 
joining in the doxology, to the tune of " Old Hundred." 

Mr. Joseph H. Sears, the editor of " The New South," 
a paper published at Hilton Head, printed enough copies 
of the programme for distribution among the company ; 
and also several copies of Mr. Beecher s address for the 
representatives of the press. When I asked him for his 
bill, he replied, in a note : " I regret that our type and 
presses can do no better work. My excuse is, that the 
sand, which frequently rises in clouds here and penetrates 
even to the sacred precincts of our sanctum sanctorum? 
pays no regard to types or presses, and they soon wear 

" Allow me to present this job (excuse a printer s term) 
to the United States." 

This was Mr. Sears s acceptable contribution to the 
grand occasion. 

The programme consisted of 

1. A prayer by Eev. Matthias Harris, Chaplain of the 
United States Army, who, being at the time chaplain at 
Fort Moultrie, accompanied Major Anderson s command 
over to Fort Sumter, and made a prayer at the raising of 
the flag over that fort, December 27, 1860. 


2. Reading of several Psalms, antiphonally, by the 
Rev. Dr. Storrs and the people. 

3. Reading of the following dispatch from Major 
Anderson, by brevet Brigadier-General E. D. Townsend :* 















( J 



* I well remember the feeling which came over me while reading this 
dispatch aloud to General Scott, on its first receipt. It conveyed intelli- 


4. Raising the flag, with salutes, and bands playing 
national airs. 

5. Singing the " Star-spangled Banner." 

6. Address by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. 

7. Singing the doxology, to the tune " Old Hundred." 

8. Closing prayer and benediction by Rev. Dr. R. S. 
Storrs, Jr. 

All things being ready, the company again assembled 
on board the Arago, and Thursday evening, the 13th of 
April, she left Hilton Head for Charleston Bar. The 
next day, Friday (Good Friday !), was so windy, and the 
sea was so high, that Captain Gadsden was afraid to ven 
ture on the bar, so he came to anchor outside, and trans 
ferred his passengers to the small steamer Delaware. The 
rolling of both vessels made it a hazardous undertaking 
for the ladies ; but, being safely accomplished, it rather 
added to the interest of the occasion. 

The fort was found to be a perfect mass of ruins. 
Hardly any trace of its character, except broken gabions 
and shattered casemates, was to be seen. " A large plat 
form, diamond-shaped, covered with myrtle, evergreens, 
and flowers, had been erected in the center of the parade- 
ground, with an arched canopy overhead, draped with the 
American flag, and intermingled with beautiful wreaths 

gence of the first note of war sounded by the South. They had made their 
choice they could have as much of ij as they wished. It was noticed by 
my friend Governor Clifford, of Massachusetts, who was present at the 
ceremonies in 1865, that my voice assumed a tone of quiet defiance en 
tirely unpremeditated as I read the dispatch again on this occasion, and 
the association of ideas returned to me. 

The original dispatch was printed by Morse s telegraph, and the rib 
bon-like strips were pasted on a sheet of paper for better preservation and 
convenience. This copy is made from a photograph of the original. 


of evergreens and flowers. This platform was for Gen 
eral Anderson, the orator of the day, and other distin 
guished visitors, and was the combined taste of six Union 
ladies of Charleston. On the stage, beside the speaker s 
stand, was a golden eagle holding a handsome wreath of 
flowers and evergreens. The flag-staff, about one hun 
dred and fifty feet high, had been erected immediately 
in the center of the parade-ground, and the halyards ad 
justed by three of the crew of the Juniata, who took 
part in the assault on Fort Sumter, ordered by Admiral 
Dahlgren, September 9, 1863." * 

Those who could not find room on the platform had a 
fine view from the parapet, and could distinctly hear, from 
their more elevated position. 

At the proper time, Major Anderson received the old 
flag, packed in the Fort Sumter mail-bag, from Sergeant 
Hart, the soldier of Anderson s command who hauled 
down the flag. Together, they opened the flag and ad 
justed the halyards. At this moment some one handed 
to Anderson a bright wreath of roses, which he fastened 
to the top of the flag. When all was ready, as soon as he 
could control his emotion, Anderson said : 

" My friends, and fellow-citizens, and brother soldiers : 
By the considerate appointment of the Honorable Secre 
tary of War, I am here to fulfill the cherished wish of my 
heart through four long, long years of bloody war, to 
restore to its proper place this dear flag, which floated 
here during peace, before the first act of this cruel re 

" I thank God that I have lived to see this day, and 
to be here to perform this duty to my country. My heart 

* Correspondence of the " Baltimore American." 


is filled with gratitude to that God who has so signally 
blessed us ; who has given us blessings beyond measure. 

" May all the world proclaim, i Glory to God in the 
highest ; and on earth peace, good-will toward men. 

At the close of these remarks a hearty " Amen ! " 
was uttered by many persons standing around. 

Anderson then seized the halyards, Sergeant Hart also 
passing them through his own hands, while the general s 
young son, Robert, held on to the end of them. The flag 
was sent up to the peak by Anderson s own hand. He 
refused the proffered aid of every one, and seemed deter 
mined that his own strength alone should restore " this 
dear flag " to its old place, if it were to be the last effort 
of his life. The shout which arose, when the halyards 
were made fast, must be imagined ; it can scarcely be 
described. Then came the booming of the guns from the 
fleet, and from half a dozen batteries, and the playing of 
several bands vying with each other in rendering the 
national airs. 

Mr. Beecher s address, which followed, was very able 
and eloquent. As might have been expected, it de 
nounced the rebellion in strong terms, and exulted in the 
fruits of liberty to the slave which the contest had secured. 
But it breathed a spirit of conciliation, which his sermon 
before his congregation, just prior to his departure from 
Brooklyn, had foreshadowed. He held the leaders of se 
cession responsible, yet had no vengeance to execute upon 
them ; while, for the mass of the people, he had naught 
but fraternal greeting. At Brooklyn he had said : "If 
I had my way after the close of fighting, I would not let 
one drop of blood be spilled, and then I could say to the 
world that this great civil war has been ended as none 


other ever was. Ought there not to be a terrible spec 
tacle of retribution i say some. In Mercy s name, has 
there not been suffering enough ? Is not the penalty al 
ready paid ? God s vengeance patent enough ? We don t 
want any more vengeance. I would not expatriate any 
leaders on the ground of vengeance, for, as they have once 
misled the people, they might do so again. I would not 
expatriate and disfranchise them. . . . And more : we 
wish now to show the South their total misapprehension 
of our former sentiments. Their cunning politicians have 
made them believe that we hate them ; but we don t. . . . 
There are no antagonistic interests between the North and 
the South. Religion, blood, business, are the same ; and, 
if there are no social or political reasons for hatred, why 
should we not be the best of friends ? " 

At Sumter he said : " But for the people misled, for 
the multitudes drafted and driven into this civil war, let 
not a trace of animosity remain. The moment their will 
ing hand drops the musket, and they return to their alle 
giance, then stretch out your honest right hand to greet 
them. Recall to them the old days of kindness. Our 
hearts wait for their redemption. All the resources of a 
renovated nation shall be applied to rebuild their pros 
perity and smooth down the furrows of war. . . . We 
are not seeking our own aggrandizement by impoverish 
ing the South. Its prosperity is an indispensable element 
of our own. We have shown, by all that we have suffered 
in war, how great is our estimate of the importance of 
the Southern States of this Union ; and we will measure 
that estimate now, in peace, by still greater exertions for 
their rebuilding." 

After the ceremonies at the fort, the company went 


up to Charleston, where two or three days were spent in 
visiting the various parts of the city, and viewing with 
mournful interest the ravages of fires and of cannonad 
ing. In the evening of the 14th the fleet was brilliantly 
illuminated, and fire- works were displayed from the ships 
and monitors. An entertainment was given by General 
Gillmore at the Charleston Hotel, at which eloquent 
speeches were made by General Holt, Hon. W. D. Kelly, 
of Pennsylvania, Daniel Dougherty, George Thompson, 
"William Lloyd Garrison, and others. Tributes were paid 
by all to him who, at about that hour, fell before the 
hand of an assassin in the nation s capital. 

The Arago sailed for New York Saturday evening, 
April 15th, Mr. Beecher and some of his immediate party 
remaining behind. As the ship neared the Capes, several 
gentlemen requested me to telegraph to the Secretary of 
War for permission to wind up our delightful excursion 
by making a trip to Richmond. Richmond was in pos 
session of United States troops when we left, and we had 
heard of Lee s surrender just as we were about to land 
at Fort Sumter. I went below, and was in the act of 
writing the telegram, to be sent from Old Point Comfort, 
when some one rushed down the gangway, exclaiming, 
" The President has been shot by an assassin ! " The 
news had been received from a vessel which passed us as 
we were going in between the Capes. Of course, this 
put an end to all thought of further pleasure excursions, 
and we made the best of our way back to Washington. 

Mr. Beecher had said in his address on that fatal Good 
Friday, " We offer to the President of these United 
States our solemn congratulations that God has sustained 
his life and health under the unparalleled burdens and 


sufferings of four bloody years, and permitted him to 
behold this auspicious consummation of that national 
unity for which he has waited with so much patience and 
fortitude, and for which he has labored with so much dis 
interested wisdom." 

And, probably within the same hour in which the 
awful deed was committed, General Anderson had offered 
in the festive hall this sentiment : " I beg you, now, that 
you will join me in drinking the health of another man, 
whom we all love to honor the man who, when elected 
President of the United States, was compelled to reach 
the seat of government without an escort, but a man who 
now could travel all over our country with millions of 
hands and hearts to sustain him. I give you the good, 
the great, the honest man, Abraham Lincoln." 

And this was the sequel : " The President has been 
shot by an assassin ! " 



Unparalleled grief Guard of honor Funeral-train Lying in state 
Mottoes and floral tributes Imposing demonstrations The veteran 
Scott " Come home " At the tomb A long farewell. 

THE funeral of Abraham Lincoln ! How can justice 
be done to the theme ? The obsequies, continued through 
sixteen days and sixteen nights, of the man whose ruthless 
taking off called forth the sympathies of people and their 
rulers in every clime ! The official expressions of horror 
and grief, received by the United States Government 


from every known country in the world, alone fill a quarto^ 
volume of nine hundred and thirty pages. 

As soon as news of the President s death was received, 
places of business and amusement were closed, houses 
were draped in mourning, and meetings were held at 
which resolutions were passed, everywhere. Of all the 
events of the war, none had produced such general and 
intense excitement. 

History has no parallel to the outpouring of sorrow 
which followed the funeral cortege on its route from 
Washington to Springfield, Illinois. Hundreds of thou 
sands of men, women, and children, crowded the highways 
and streets, by day and by night, to do reverence to those 
mortal remains ; and not a smile or sign of levity was 
seen among them all. Often would they kneel, as the 
funeral-car passed them, with heads bowed as if in silent 
prayer. Many wept in quiet, but none betrayed the 
slightest mark of unconcern. The shocking deed by 
which the President had been taken from his people 
seemed to intensify their love and veneration for his 

The President died at. about half-past seven, the morn 
ing of April 15, 1865.* His remains lay in state in the 
East-Room of the Executive Mansion from Tuesday the 
18th till two o clock Wednesday the 19th, and were viewed 
by a very large number of citizens. On Wednesday a 
civic and military procession conducted them to the Capi 
tol, where they reposed in state in the Rotunda during 
that day, and till late at night the next. The ceremonies 

* Most of the incidents in this account were recalled to memory by a 
scrap-book made up of slips from the newspapers of the day, which accu 
rately described the scenes at each place by which the cortege passed. 


at the Mansion and at the Capitol were of the most im 
posing character. 

The Secretary of War detailed as a guard of honor to 
accompany the remains to Springfield 

Brevet Brigadier-General E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant 
Adjutant-General, to represent the Secretary of War. 

Brigadier-General A. B. EATON, Commissary-General 
of Subsistence. 

Brevet Major-General J. G. BARNARD, Lieutenant- 
Colonel of Engineers. 

Brigadier-General G. D. EAMSAY, Ordnance Depart 

Brigadier-General A. P. HOWE, Chief of Artillery. 

Brevet Brigadier-General JAMES A. EKIN, Quarter 
master s Department. 

Brevet Brigadier-General D. C. McCALLUM, Superin 
tendent of Military Kailroads. 

Major-General DAVID HUNTER, U. S. Volunteers. 

Brigadier-General J. C. CALDWELL, U. S. Volunteers, 
and twenty-five picked men, sergeants of the Veteran 
Reserve Corps, who acted, always, as bearers. 

The Secretary of the Navy completed the list of 
twelve officers by detailing 

Rear- Admiral CHARLES HENRY DAVIS, Chief of the 
Bureau of Navigation. 

Captain WILLIAM ROGERS TAYLOR, U. S. Navy, and 
Major THOMAS Y. FIELD, U. S. Marine Corps. 

At the request of the Secretary of War, Governor 
John Brough, of Ohio, and John W. Garrett, Esq., Presi 
dent of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, arranged a 
time-table and prepared regulations for the movements 
of the funeral-train. The time for arriving at and depart- 


ure from each city was thereby fixed. General McCal- 
lum was given military control of the train ; Captain C. 
B. Penrose was detailed as commissary ; Captain J. P. 
Dukehart, the veteran and efficient conductor, accompa 
nied the train to Springfield. Invitations to take seats 
in the passenger cars of the train were issued to a few 
persons, among them the late President s pastor, Rev. 
Dr. Gurley. Some of these gentlemen accompanied it 
the whole way ; others joined, and left it, at points along 
the route. The proper preservation of the body, which 
had been embalmed, was intrusted to the embalmer and 

Two elegant cars were provided, one for the funeral- 
car, the other for the guard of honor, and six others 
were attached to the train for the mourners. The funeral- 
car was heavily draped, within and without, with black, 
while silver stars and tassels relieved the somber festoons. 
This car was divided into three parts, a sleeping-apart 
ment in the center, and a sitting room at each end. The 
coffin containing the President s remains rested on a bier 
covered with black drapery, in the room at the rear. The 
body of his little son Willie, who died in Washington in 
1862, was placed in the front room, that it might be in 
terred with his father s in Springfield. 

The President s remains, escorted by a military com 
mand, and followed by the Cabinet and other distin 
guished personages, were moved to the Baltimore and 
Ohio depot, where they were received by the guard of 
honor. The train started on its mournful journey at 
eight o clock A. M., Friday, April 21, 1865, preceded by a 
pilot-engine to guard against accident. 

The depots everywhere were draped in mourning, and 


many had mottoes conspicuously displayed. In more than 
one the motto was " Washington the Father, Lincoln the 
Saviour of the Country." * The cities vied with each 
other in the elegance with which their buildings, public 
and private, were draped. Crowds thronged the depots 
and streets, but there was no jostling, no noise ; all was 
solemn and sad. 

In every city where the remains were exposed to view, 
a guard of honor was selected to be present while the 
crowd passed through the hall. This was a relief to the 
regular guard, as only two of them at a time had to be 
present. But there was never a moment throughout the 
whole journey when at least two of this guard were not 
by the side of the coffin. No bearers, except the veteran 
guard, were ever suffered to handle the President s 

At the Relay House the train was detained a few 
minutes to permit a party of ladies to lay some beautiful 
floral tributes upon the bier. This was the first of those 
tender exhibitions of feeling which were afterward so 
frequently repeated. 

At Baltimore, where the train arrived at ten o clock 
A. M., the Governor, Lieutenant-Go vernor, State and city 
officials were in waiting. An imposing procession was 
formed. The President s coffin, borne by the guard of 
Veteran Eeserve sergeants, was placed in a beautiful 
hearse, and taken to the Rotunda of the Exchange, where 
a catafalque had been erected immediately under the 
dome. All around the catafalque were tastefully ar- 

* An elegant medallion, bearing the bust of Washington on one side and 
of Lincoln on the other, was struck off in gold and in silver, at the Mint in 
Philadelphia. This was worn as a badge by several of the guard of honor. 


ranged evergreens, wreaths, calla-lilies, and other choice 
flowers. The coffin was opened so as to display the face 
and bust to view, and arrangements were made so that 
the crowd of citizens, eager for one parting look, could 
pass through without confusion. 

The schedule required a departure from Baltimore at 
three o clock p. M. The procession was accordingly re 
formed in time, and moved to the Northern Central De 
pot, en route to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

At York a beautiful wreath was placed on the coffin 
by some ladies. 

At Harrisburg, which was reached at a little past 
eight o clock p. M., a driving rain and the darkness of 
the evening prevented the reception which had been 
arranged. Slowly through the muddy streets, followed 
by two of the guard of honor and the faithful ser 
geants, the hearse wended its way to the Capitol. There 
the remains were exposed to view until eleven o clock 
A. M., Saturday the 21st, when a very large procession 
escorted them to the depot. Guns were fired and bells 
tolled through the morning, and trains came in from the 
surrounding country, laden with people who sought to do 
honor to the occasion. 

Leaving Harrisburg at noon, the train soon reached 
Middletown, where a large crowd was gathered. The 
cars passed into the depot under an arch of evergreens, 
while national flags draped in mourning were fluttering 
all around. 

At Elizabethtown a large flag was suspended from the 
depot, to which was affixed the motto, "We mourn a 
nation s loss." At Mount Joy, and all along the road, 
large numbers of people were congregated, the country 


people flocking to neighboring towns, or to the line of 
the railroad. 

At Lancaster the crowd was enormous. The depot 
was decorated with flags and crape ; and in large letters 
was the motto : " Abraham Lincoln, the illustrious mar 
tyr of liberty. The nation mourns his loss. Though 
dead, he still lives." 

The " Philadelphia Inquirer " said : " At the outskirts 
we found the force of the Lancaster Iron- Works in line 
along the road, with uplifted hats, and their buildings 
draped. They paid their last tribute to the patriot and 
statesman. Near the track, in many places, we found old 
men had been carried down in their chairs, and women 
with infants held out to see the cortege pass, formed at 
times groups seldom if ever witnessed." 

And so it was with all the towns and villages. Busi 
ness was stopped, and all the people crowded to see the 
funeral pass. 

Arriving at Philadelphia at half-past six p. M., a 
dense crowd received us with every manifestation of 
grief. With a magnificent escort and procession, the 
hearse was conducted through Independence Square 
which was illuminated with calcium-lights to Inde 
pendence Hall. In that spot, on the 22d of February, 
1861, Abraham Lincoln had uttered these words : " It 
was something in the * Declaration of Independence, 
giving liberty, not only to the people of this country, 
but hope to the world for all future time. . . . Now, 
my friends, can the country be saved upon that basis? 
If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest 
men in the world if I can help to save it. But, if this 
country can not be saved without giving up that prin- 


ciple, I was about to say, I would rather be assassinated 
upon this spot than to surrender it." 

And now his lifeless body had come to make that 
utterance prophecy. 

Words can but faintly portray the elegant taste with 
which the historic old hall was draped and decorated 
with floral offerings that hall to whose legends another 
of intense interest was now added. The skilled pen of 
the u Inquirer " shall again lend us its aid : 

"A magnificent floral device,* composed of a large 
wreath of brilliant-colored flowers, and containing a beau 
tiful shield in the center, also composed of choice flow 
ers, occupied a prominent position on the lid of the coffin. 
This wreath bore the following inscription : 

" Presented by the ladies of York, Pennsylvania, to 
be laid on the body of our lamented President if pos 

" At the head of the coffin was suspended a highly 
wrought cross, composed of japonicas, with a center con 
sisting of jet-black exotics. The device contained the 
following inscription : 

" To the memory of our beloved President, from a 
few ladies of the United States Sanitary Commission. 

" On the old Independence bell, and near the head of 
the coffin, rested a large and beautifully made floral an 
chor, composed of the choicest exotics. This beautiful 
offering came from the ladies of St. Clement s Church. 
Four stands, two at the head and two at the foot of the 
coffin, were draped in black cloth, and contained rich 
candelabra, with lighted wax-candles. Directly to the 

* Most of the decorations were deposited in the rooms of the Historical 
Society after the ceremonies were over. 


rear of these were placed three additional stands, also 
containing candelabras with burning tapers ; and again, 
another row of four stands, containing candelabras also, 
brought up the rear, making in all eighteen candelabras 
and one hundred and eight burning wax-tapers. 

" Between this flood of light, shelving was erected, 
on which were placed rare vases filled with japonicas, 
heliotropes, and other rare flowers. These vases were 
about twenty-five in number. 

" A most delicious perfume stole through every part 
of the hall, which, added to the soft yet brilliant light of 
the wax-tapers, the elegant uniforms of the officers on 
duty, etc., constituted a scene of Oriental magnificence 
but seldom witnessed. 

" The hall at large was completely shrouded with 
black cloth, arranged in a very graceful and appropriate 
manner. The old chandelier that hangs from the center 
of the room, and which was directly over the coffin of 
the deceased, was entirely covered, and from it radiated 
in every direction festoons of black cloth, forming a sort 
of canopy over the entire room. The walls of the room 
presented the appearance of having been papered with 
black. . . . The statue of Washington, at the east end of 
the room, stood out in bold relief against the background. 
"Wreaths of immortelles were hung on the black drapery 
that covered the walls, and were placed about midway 
between the floor and ceiling. 

" One of the wreaths that lay near the head of the 
coffin contained a card bearing the following inscription : 

" i Before any great national event I have always had 
the same dream. I had it the other night. It is of a 
ship sailing rapidly? 


" These words were used by Mr. Lincoln in conversa 
tion not long since. 

" A beautiful wreath was presented on Saturday even 
ing, containing the following : 

" A lady s gift. Can you find a place ? 

" A balustrade was erected on either side of the coffin, 
which acted as a barrier to the throng that pressed in to 
see the remains, and prevented them from approaching 
too closely to the coffin.* 

" An incident, humble in its character, yet not with 
out its due effect, took place while the hall was being 
placed in readiness for the reception of the remains. An 
old negro woman managed by some means to effect an 
entrance into the sacred inclosure, and approached the 
committee of arrangements with a rudely made wreath 
in her hand, which she requested, with tears in her eyes, 
might be placed on the coffin of the deceased. The 
wreath contained the motto : 

" The nation mourns his loss. lie still lives in the 
hearts of the people. 

" The old woman s heart beat with delight when she 
was informed that her offering should be placed in an 
appropriate position. 

" A beautiful full-length portrait of Mr. Lincoln was 
placed in front of the State -House, and covered with 
black cloth so closely that the figure alone was exposed 
to view. A curtain was drawn over the painting, which 
was thrown aside just as the body was about being taken 
into Independence Hall, wiien it was brilliantly illumi- 

* There was a desire not unfrequently expressed, and in some cases 
amounting almost to insanity, to touch the face, as if virtue would flow 
from the contact. 



nated. A motto composed of gas-jets, surmounted the 
portrait, containing the words 

" Rest in peace. " 

It was estimated that over two hundred thousand 
people passed through Independence Hall between ten 
o clock Saturday evening and one o clock A. M. Monday. 
Double lines, extending three miles, were formed of per 
sons waiting their turn to enter the hall. The entrances 
were through windows facing Independence Square. In 
the crowd were hundreds of colored people. One aged 
colored woman, after gazing a moment at the silent fea 
tures, threw up her hands, the tears coursing down her 
cheeks, and exclaimed in audible tones: "O Abraham 
Lincoln ! he is dead ! he is dead ! " Precisely at mid 
night, Saturday, three ladies entered the hall and de 
posited on the coffin a cross of perfectly white flowers, 
to which a card was fastened with a white ribbon, bear 
ing this inscription : 

"A tribute to our great and good President, who has 
fallen a martyr to the cause of human freedom. 
6 In my hand no price I bring, 
Simply to thy cross I cling. : 

Although the hour of departure from Philadelphia 
was so early, the crowd was in no wise diminished. 
Many mothers held their infants above the heads of the 
multitude, as if to place it in their power to say in after 
life, " I saw President Lincoln s funeral." 

At four o clock A.M., the train was on its way for 
E"ew York. 

At Jersey City admirable arrangements had been 
made ; and the Secretary of State of New York there 
received the remains, on behalf of the State. As the 


hearse moved out of the depot to go on board the ferry 
boat, a dirge was sung by a chorus of two hundred voices. 
As the boat entered the dock at New York, guns were 
tired and bells tolled. The nags of the shipping hung 
at half-staff. The New York Seventh Regiment that 
regiment which had given President Lincoln so much 
relief by its arrival in Washington in April, 1861 now 
formed the escort for his remains to the City Hall. 

The locality chosen for the body to repose, in the City 
Hall, was the most convenient for the purpose of any on 
the whole route. The ascent from the ground-floor to 
the room of the City Council was by two flights of stone 
stairs, on one side of the large circular rotunda. There 
was but one step from the platform at the top of the 
stairs to the passage, or entry, leading to the Council- 
chamber. By placing a dais, slightly inclined from head 
to foot, just within the entry, persons ascending one flight 
of steps would have a perfect view of the features while 
crossing the platform to descend by the other flight. Thus, 
a constant stream of people entered one door, viewed the 
body without stopping, and left the rotunda by another 

The interior of the rotunda was draped from the 
ground to the cupola ; and an arch of black cloth was 
formed over the entrance to the Council-room passage, 
beneath which the dais lay. 

Probably more than half a million souls passed across 
that platform while the doors remained open. Among 
them, all classes and conditions of men, women, and 
children were represented. Of them all, none paid a 
more sincere homage than did the poor Irishwoman, who, 
as she hastily passed, laid a small cross of evergreen at 


the foot of the coffin, fervently ejaculating, "God pre 
serve your soul ! " 

A grand feature of the New York ceremonies was 
the procession which followed the funeral-car to the depot 
on its way to Albany, on the afternoon of Tuesday, the 
25th. It was composed of from fifty to seventy thousand 
parsons on foot. The " Herald" said : 

." The procession included not only the military, the 
firemen, the trades societies, and the benevolent and 
other associations, but also many citizens who never 
marched through our streets before in honor of any man, 
or any occasion. Remarkable upon this account, it was no 
less remarkable on account of its unanimity all classes, 
conditions, creeds, and politics joining in it with a com 
mon, sympathetic impulse. 

" Certainly New York city eclipsed herself upon this 
occasion, and appropriately represented the universal sen 
timent of the country. In solemn silence, unbroken by 
the slightest expression of applause at the drill of the sol 
diery or by the appearance of various popular men and 
societies, the mournful pageant moved through miles of 
magnificent dwellings hung with black; and, when the 
impressive ceremonies were over, the vast assemblage dis 
persed so quickly and quietly that in a couple of hours no 
trace of its existence remained." 

And so the grand procession passed on, minute-guns 
firing, bells tolling, chimes sounding dirges. There was 
no standing-place left on the sidewalks, heads were uncov 
ered, and not so much as a smile was seen. At the win 
dows of the draped dwellings stood hosts of ladies with 
handkerchiefs to their eyes ; and not even the children 
seemed tempted by curiosity to strain for a better view. 


"When not far from the Hudson Eiver Depot, the 
coupe of General Scott was descried drawn up by the 
sidewalk. I immediately alighted, and, after greeting my 
old commander, conducted his vehicle to a place in the 
procession. Though pale and feeble, he insisted on 
walking into the depot, and paying his parting respects 
to the deceased President. 

The line of the Hudson River road seemed alive 
with people. At each of the towns by which it passes, 
the darkness of night was relieved by torches, which 
revealed the crowds there assembled. At Hudson, where 
the train arrived at midnight, elaborate preparations had 
been made. Beneath an arch hung with black and white 
drapery and evergreen wreaths, was a tableau represent 
ing a coffin resting upon a dais; a female figure in 
white, mourning over the coffin ; a soldier standing at 
one end and a sailor at the other. While a band of 
young women dressed in white sang a dirge, two others 
in black entered the funeral-car, placed a beautiful floral 
device on the President s coffin, then knelt for a moment 
in silence, and quietly withdrew. This whole scene was 
one of the most weird ever witnessed, its solemnity being 
intensified by the somber lights of torches, at that dead 
hour of night. 

It was long after midnight when the coffin was placed 
in the State Capitol at Albany. Yet the stream of visit 
ors began the instant the doors could be thrown open. 
Governor Fenton and staff received the remains at the 
depot and escorted them to the Capitol. The city was 
profusely decorated with mourning. Among the many 
mottoes displayed from the buildings was an extract 
from one of Mr. Lincoln s addresses : 


" Let us resolve that our martyred dead shall not have 
died in vain." 

At four o clock p. M., "Wednesday the 26th, the train 
again started on its journey, and wended its way in the 
night toward Buffalo, passing through Eochester at 
about a quarter past three o clock A.M. Ten thousand 
people were out to receive it. The mayor, common 
council, military and civic organizations, were in line at 
the depot. The sounds of martial music and of bells 
tolling were heard till we were far beyond the depot. 

At Batavia, at a quarter past five A. M., a concourse 
had assembled, and, during the short stay in the depot 
there, a choir of male and female voices chanted a requi 
em, while minute-guns were firing and bells tolling. 

At Herkimer, among the numerous assemblage was a 
large band of ladies dressed in white, with black sashes, 
each holding a draped miniature national flag. 

At Little Falls, some ladies laid upon the coffin a 
large cross and wreath of flowers. 

At Utica, bands played dirges, bells were tolled, and 
minute-guns fired. 

Arriving at Syracuse near midnight, a hard rain did 
not deter over thirty thousand people from turning out 
to witness the passing of the train, with torches and bon 
fires, bells and cannon. 

At Batavia, ex-President Fill more and several other 
distinguished citizens from Buffalo came to join the 
mourners. Arriving at Buffalo at seven o clock A. M., 
the 27th, an imposing procession escorted the remains 
to St. James Hall. At this city every arrangement was 
of the most perfect character. In the hall, a canopy 
of crape, extending from the floor to the ceiling, was ar- 


ranged for the reception of the coffin. A brilliant light 
was thrown upon it from a large chandelier, whose rays 
dimly lighted the rest of the hall. Just before the coffin 
was opened, the St. Cecilia Society sang a dirge, while 
all others present stood around in solemn silence. The 
Mayor and Council of Rochester came to offer their trib 
ute of respect. The crowd of visitors, though immense, 
was perfectly orderly, and cheerfully yielded to the efforts 
of officers who volunteered for the occasion, and the city 
police, in preventing undue pressure and confusion. Thus 
everything passed off without the least accident. Here 
we first received intelligence of the capture and death of 
Booth, the assassin. 

As the President s remains went farther westward, 
where the people more especially claimed him as their 
own, the intensity of feeling seemed if possible to grow 
deeper. The night journey of the 27th and 28th was all 
through torches, bonfires, mourning drapery, mottoes, and 
solemn music. Leaving Buffalo at ten o clock in the even 
ing of the 27th, Cleveland was reached at seven o clock 
the next morning. 

At Cleveland, committees were formed to make every 
possible arrangement in the most elaborate manner. There 
being no building thought suitable for the purpose, a su 
perb canopy, thirty-six feet long, twenty-four broad, and 
fourteen high, was erected in the Public Square. The 
roof was supported by pillars, and the ends were open, so as 
to admit of a large crowd passing in at one end and emerg 
ing at the other. No device that skill and good taste could 
conceive was omitted in the construction of this temporary 
resting-place for the revered remains. It was surmounted 
by a scroll between two poles, bearing the inscription, 


" Extinctus amdbitur idem" For the evening, the struc 
ture was lighted by gas-jets. The dais was higher at the 
head than at the foot, so that the remains were in view 
from the moment of entering the canopy. So great was 
the influx of persons from the neighboring towns and 
country, that hundreds were unable to find a resting-place 
for the night.* 

Solemn religious services, including the singing of 
hymns, were conducted at the canopy by the Right Rev. 
C. P. Mcllvaine, Bishop of Ohio. Except that a rain 
prevailed through the day, nothing occurred to inter 
fere with the melancholy interest of this most solemn 
scene. An immense procession conducted the remains, 
at midnight, between two lines of torch-lights to the 

There was an interesting " special feature about the 
running of the train from Erie to Cleveland," which was 
recorded in one of the daily papers. " As far as possible, 
everything connected with the train was the same as on 
the occasion of Mr. Lincoln s going East over that road 
in 1861. The locomotive the William Case was the 
same. The engineer, William Congden, was dead, and 
the engine was run by John Benjamin. The fireman, in 
1861, George Martin, was an engineer, but asked and ob 
tained the privilege of again acting as fireman on that 
train. The same conductor, E. D. Page, had control of 
the train. Superintendent Henry Nottingham, as before, 
had the complete management." 

The next resting-place was at Columbus, Ohio, where 
for twelve hours, Saturday, the 29th, streams of people 

* To a gentleman, a stranger to me, who kindly lent me his room at a 
hotel, I was indebted for fifteen hours unbroken sleep, to bring up arrears. 


viewed the body lying in state.* Here the rear of the 
escorting procession was brought up by colored Masons. 

Another night was spent on the way from Columbus 
to Indianapolis, Indiana, which was reached at seven 
o clock Sunday morning, the 30th. Of course, every other 
pursuit was set aside for this great occasion. It was the 
first Sunday we had spent on the way since leaving Phil 
adelphia, and never was a Sabbath more hallowed by a 
universal consent of the people in their demonstration of 
sincere mourning. 

At midnight the route was resumed for Chicago. 
While the darkness prevailed, the approach to every town 
was made apparent by bonfires, torches, and music, while 
crowds of people formed an almost unbroken line. One 
of the most effective scenes was at Michigan City, where 
the train stopped for a few minutes, at half -past eight 
o clock A. M., the first day of May. A succession of 
arches, beautifully trimmed with white and black, with 
evergreens and flowers, and with numerous flags and por 
traits of the President, was formed over the railway-track. 
Many mottoes were displayed from different parts of the 
structure ; among them 

" Abraham Lincoln, the noblest martyr of freedom, 
sacred thy dust ; hallowed thy resting-place." 

" The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must 

* While at Columbus I received a note from a lady, wife of one of the 
principal citizens, accompanying a little cross made of wild violets. The 
note said that the writer s little girls had gone to the woods in the early 
morning and gathered the flowers with which they had wrought the cross. 
They desired it might be laid on little Willie s coffin, " they felt so sorry 
for him." 


Near the arches was a group of sixteen maidens dressed 
in white and black, who sweetly sang " Old Hundred." 
Another group, in white, surrounded a central figure rep 
resenting America. They stood upon a platform deco 
rated with flowers, and each held in her hand a small flag. 
This was a striking tableau. A party of sixteen ladies, 
headed by a niece of Speaker Colfax, entered the car and 
placed flowers on the coffin. 

The train arrived at Chicago at eleven o clock A. M., 
May 1st. Here the most elaborate preparations had been 
made. The decorations were profuse and of the most 
costly description. A magnificent arch spanned the street 
where the coffin was taken from the car, and under this 
the body rested while a dirge was sung by a numerous 
band of ladies dressed in white, with black scarfs. Mean 
time the grand procession was formed in line, and the 
march commenced. Nearly every dwelling on Michigan 
Avenue, which was on the route, was dressed with mourn 
ing, and many displayed touching mottoes. One gentle 
man, who had accompanied the train from Washington, 
telegraphed to have conspicuously placed on the front of 
his residence 

" Mournfully, tenderly bear him to his rest." 
He told me these words were suggested by the really 
tender care with which the Yeteran sergeants always 
the bearers lifted and carried their charge. 

The rotunda of the court-house was the place cho 
sen for the remains to lie in state. It was decorated 
without and within with every possible tasteful com 
bination of black velvet, white muslin, silver stars and 
fringe, wreaths of white flowers, and mottoes, such as 
these : 


" The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places." 

" Illinois clasps to her bosom her slain but glorified 

A canopy supported by four pillars was raised over 
the catafalque, which lay directly under the dome. Nu 
merous lights were so distributed as to throw their con 
centrated rays through the drapery upon the coffin. A 
marble eagle, with flags gracefully festooned around it, 
stood on a velvet pedestal at the head of the coffin. 

The remains were here displayed from early after 
noon, all through the night, and until eight o clock the 
following evening. At intervals a choir sang selections 
from oratorios, and other choice solemn music. It seemed 
as if Milwaukee and all the country within many miles 
of Chicago must have been quite deserted, so great was 
the concourse at the latter city. 

The cortege left Chicago, the last stopping-place be 
fore Springfield, at half-past nine o clock p. M. As usual, 
night was forgotten by the people in their anxiety to 
show all possible respect for him whom they expected ; 
and bonfires and torches threw their uncertain light upon 
mourning emblems which were destined to stand in their 
places as memorials for weeks to come. At Lockport 
the motto was seen on one house 
" Come home." 

It rained at Joliet, and it was midnight ; but, just the 
same, ten thousand persons were gathered at the depot. 
Here was an illuminated portrait, with the motto : 

" Champion, defender, and martyr of liberty." 
The train passed under an arch, while sweet voices sang, 
" There is rest for thee in heaven." 


At Lincoln, a place named for the President, and in 
which he had felt much interest, an arch was erected over 
the track, on which was a portrait with the motto : 
" With malice for none, with charity for all." 

There was not a single place on the whole route where 
some touching demonstration was not made. 

At last, at nine o clock A. M., Wednesday, May 3d, we 
reached Springfield, the home of Abraham Lincoln at the 
time he was elected President of the United States. 
Those who claimed him as their own would naturally 
exhaust their powers of contrivance to make this last 
reception worthy of the deep affection and pride which 
they entertained for him more than for any other man 
who ever lived. A large procession, in which were many 
of the most distinguished men in the land, escorted the 
body, which was conveyed in a splendid hearse, brought 
for the purpose from St. Louis, drawn by six black 

In the Representative Hall of the Capitol the cata 
falque was erected. The handsome building was uniquely 
draped on the outside, and the decoration of the hall was 
very handsome. Conspicuous on the walls were seen the 
mottoes : 

" Sooner than surrender this principle, 
I would be assassinated on the spot." 

" Washington the Father, Lincoln the Saviour." 

Perhaps a more than usual display of grief was ap 
parent among the multitudes who here visited the re 
mains. It was truly the hall of mourning. It seemed 
hard for these, his old-time neighbors and friends, to 
realize the dreadful fact that he had come back to them 


in this guise; and still harder that all that was left of 
him must, in a few brief hours, be closed from their view 
forever. Springfield had become classic ground. The 
President s law-office, his old residence, and the one he 
occupied until his departure for Washington, were freely 
thrown open to the thousands eager to see the places 
which had known him, and should know him no more. 

In the morning of Thursday, the 4th of May, the 
doors of the hall were closed to all save the guard of 
honor, who stood around while the undertaker and em- 
balmer renewed some of the trimmings of the coffin, 
cleansed the dress and face, and reverently sealed the 
coffin-lid. At this moment a little rose-bud attached to 
a geranium-leaf, which a woman had dropped upon the 
body at Buffalo, was found nestling directly over the 

The procession moved at about noon for the beautiful 
Oak Ridge Cemetery, just outside the city. A fine horse 
which had belonged to Mr. Lincoln was led immediately 
behind the hearse. Military and civic organizations had 
arrived since the morning of the 3d, to swell the pa 
geant. The ceremonies at the tomb were surpassingly 
grand and impressive. The vault, of Joliet limestone, 
was at the foot of a knoll, surrounded by noble trees. 
The interior of the vault was lined with black velvet, 
covered with green sprigs of cedar. In the center was 
a brick foundation, with white-marble top, for the coffin. 
Little Willie s coffin was deposited near by. A chorus 
of male voices sang the " Dead March in Saul," as the 
President s remains were laid to rest. Then began the 
religious services. First, singing a dirge ; next, reading 
selections from Scripture, and prayer; then, singing a 


hymn ; then, reading of the President s last inaugural, 
in which occurs that oft-quoted passage, "With malice 
toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the 
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to 
finish the work we are in." The choir then sang a dirge ; 
after which Bishop Simpson, of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, delivered a funeral address. The ceremonies 
were concluded with another dirge, and then prayer 
and benediction, by the President s Washington pastor, 
Rev. Dr. Gurley. 

The door of the vault was then locked and the key 
confided to Mr. Stuart, of Springfield, who was desig 
nated by Captain Robert Lincoln to receive it. The 
guard of honor having thus surrendered their trust, be 
gan to realize how closely their interest had centered 
upon this object which, for twelve days and twelve nights, 
had scarcely for one moment been out of their sight. 

Thus closed this marvelous exhibition of a great na 
tion s deep grief. It seemed as though for once the 
spirit of hospitality and of all Christian graces had taken 
possession of every heart in every place. Not one un 
toward event can be recalled. Every citizen rivaled his 
neighbor in making kindly provision for the comfort of 
the funeral company while in their midst. Unstinted 
hospitality was not forgotten in the exceeding pains taken 
with the public displays. Mr. Lincoln, on his way from 
Springfield to Washington in 1861, had passed through 
all the cities where now his mortal remains had rested for 
a few hours on their way home. At the principal places 
he had had enthusiastic public receptions. There could 
not now be wanting many sad contrasts in the memories 
of those who had participated in the first ovations to the 


new President, and who now remained to behold the last 
of him on earth. Can there be imagined one item want 
ing to perfect this grandest of human dramas ? It is en 
tire ; it is sublime ! 

On the llth of February, 1861, on departing from 
Springfield, Mr. Lincoln said to his neighbors, gathered 
to take leave of him : 

" My friends, no one not in my position can appre 
ciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I 
owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter 
of a century ; here my children were born, and here one 
of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see 
you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, 
greater than that which has devolved upon any other 
man since the days of Washington. He never would 
have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, 
upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I can not 
succeed without the same aid which sustained him, and 
on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for sup 
port ; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I 
may receive that Divine assistance without which I can 
not succeed, but with which success is certain. Again I 
bid you all an affectionate farewell." 

It was a long a last farewell. Let the world s verdict 
say, were those prayers answered ? 



A vast camp War-worn veterans The Bummer Brigade Final discharge. 

THE war was over. The nation was in mourning for 
its President. The soldiers who had triumphed under 
him as commander-in-chief were to disperse to their 
homes and resume the avocations of peace. Following 
the precedents set by other nations, the United States 
Government decreed that its armies should pass in re 
view in the capital they had defended, before the rulers 
and the distinguished men of the land, that all might 
unite in lavishing honors upon their heroes of so many 
hard-fought battles. 

All the corps, as fast as they could be assembled 
there, were encamped within a radius of four miles from 
Washington, and the whole country became a vast camp 
of veterans, still maintaining their discipline, though no 
note of war would now sound to alarm their sentries, or 
turn them out to the long roll of the drum. 

A central stand was erected on the broad sidewalk in 
front of the Executive Mansion. Here were congregated 
the President and Cabinet, high military officers, and the 
diplomatic corps. One of the three other stands re 
ceived Governors of States, members of Congress, and 
United States judges. The rest were for any persons 
who could secure places upon them. Pennsylvania Ave 
nue and other streets along which the processions passed 
were densely packed, and every window and balcony was 
occupied by residents and visitors. It was a sight never 


before witnessed in this country, and perhaps to be never 
again. Eeviews of large numbers of troops, up to as 
high as one hundred thousand at a time, had been held 
as part of the preparatory discipline for battle. But here 
were the war-worn and generally shabbily-clad veterans, 
whose battles were finished. Before, on their way to the 
field, their new and fresh-looking banners were borne with 
the air of men determined to stand by them to the last. 
Now, they were brought back torn in shreds by bullets, 
and dingy with the smoke of war, vastly more prized 
than ever, and sending to the hearts of spectators a strange 
thrill of admiration for those men who had fulfilled their 
silent pledge, and brought back what was left of their 
colors, enveloped in glorious histories. 

First in the order of reviews, May 23, 1865, came the 
" Army of the Potomac," headed by Major-General 
GEORGE G. MEADE,* consisting of MERRITT S cavalry 
corps, PARKE S Ninth Corps, GRIFFIN S Fifth Corps, and 
HUMPHREY S Second Corps. 

The appearance of this .army was never finer. The 
horses of the principal officers had been decorated with 
garlands by admiring hands. As each general passed, he 
bowed acknowledgments to the crowds who shouted and 
waved their handkerchiefs ; and scarcely did a regiment 
fail to receive at some point a signal token of recognition. 

General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN S army was reviewed 
May 24th. 

First came General SHERMAN, upon a superb blooded 
horse, with a heavy wreath about his neck. Then the 

* General GRANT, as General-in-Chief of all the Armies of the United 
States, occupied a seat on the President s stand. 


right wing, under Major-General LOGAN,* composed of 
HAZEN S Fifteenth and FRANK BLAIR S Seventeenth 
Army Corps, constituting the " Army of the Tennessee." 
Next, the left wing, under Major-General SLOCUM, con 
sisting of MOWER S Twentieth and J. C. DAVIS S Four 
teenth Army Corps, constituting the " Army of Georgia." 

The rear of Sherman s army was brought up by the 
" Bummer Brigade," a humorous yet vivid and truthful 
representation of one of its characteristics. It consisted 
of a lot of the smallest donkeys ever seen, mingled with 
others of larger sizes, led by regular specimens of South 
ern field -hands, and laden with the spoils of war in the 
foraging line. There were pots and pans, chickens and 
grain. On the back of one mule stood a goat, on anoth 
er a raccoon, and several roosters on others. These seemed 
to have been preserved as pets from the slaughter, but 
might fall victims in some woful hour of short rations. 

A marked difference was observed between the men 
of this and of the " Army of the Potomac." These were 
"Western men, generally quite young, and taken from 
farms. The others were older, as a general rule, and of 
the city type of levies. There had been an impression 
that Sherman s men, though excellent fighters, were with 
out much discipline or drill. Agreeable surprise was ex 
pressed, then, on seeing them march and manoeuvre with 
as much precision as the best. They probably received 
a rather more enthusiastic greeting, if possible, than 
Meade s men, because they were a novelty at the seat of 
government stranger-guests, as it were. 

Major-General II. G. WRIGHT S Sixth Army Corps 

* General HOWARD had already been detached to become chief of the 
Freedmen s Bureau. 


had been detached on a service which prevented its ap 
pearing with the "Army of the Potomac," to which it 
belonged. It was therefore reviewed on the Yth of June. 
This was the corps sent by General Grant from before 
Richmond to the relief of Washington when threatened 
by Early in 1864. Its three divisions, under Generals 
Frank Wheaton, Getty, and Kicketts, were therefore ob 
jects of special interest on this occasion. The Second 
Brigade of the Third Division was commanded by brevet 
Brigadier-General J. WARKEN KEIFER, Speaker of the 
House of Representatives in the Forty-seventh Congress. 

General Sheridan was not with his cavalry corps in 
the review. He had been detached with re-enforcements 
to take command of the army in the Southwest, for the 
purpose of operating against Kirby Smith. The surren 
der of that Confederate general, however, took place be 
fore any serious movements were made against him. He 
had a well-appointed army, and might have made a good 
fight ; but the capture of Mr. Davis, and of the forces 
attempting to cover his escape, put an end to the scheme 
of moving the capital of the slave confederacy to Texas, 
and perhaps eventually annexing the upper provinces of 
Mexico to that and such other States as could be saved. 
Kirby Smith maintained his forces in hopes that his Presi 
dent might succeed in joining him with some remnant 
of the Army of Northern Virginia. This having failed, 
he could have no object in prolonging the contest. 

Sheridan s new army was too far off to be brought to 
Washington for review. 

After the armies had been reviewed in Washington, 
they were transported by the Government to fifty depots 
near their homes. They had been mustered out of ser- 


vice by officers appointed for the purpose, before they left 
the field. Their final muster-rolls were boxed up and 
transported with them, their final payment being made 
contingent upon their remaining in their ranks, and con 
ducting themselves in an orderly manner until released. 
At the depots paymasters awaited them ; and, having been 
transported and subsisted up to the last moment, they 
were paid in full, and discharged almost at their very 
homes. Thus it was that 800,963 men in arms were all 
released from military restraint and returned to the 
walks of civil life, within the space of two months, with 
out a single act of lawlessness being reported. 

It would seem to be superfluous to make any comment 
on this grand finale to the civil war in the United States 
a war grand in its proportions, grand in its displays of 
heroism and endurance, grand in its results. If that war 
shall, as now seems most probable, prove to have been 
the cause of a better cemented strength to the Union, 
future ages will rank it foremost in the great struggles 
for principles and liberty. 



"Views suggested by the Imminent Danger (October 29, 
1860) of a Disruption of the Union ly the Secession of 
one or more of the Southern States. 

"To save time, the right of secession may be conceded, 
and instantly balanced by the correlative right, on the part 
of the Federal Government, against an interior State or 
States, to re-establish by force, if necessary, its former 
continuity of territory. (Paley s Moral and Political Phi 
losophy, last chapter.) 

"But, break this glorious Union by whatever line or 
lines that political madness may contrive, and there would 
be no hope of reuniting the fragments except by the lacera 
tion and despotism of the sword. To effect such result the 
intestine wars of our Mexican neighbors would, in compari 
son with ours, sink into mere child s play. 

" A smaller evil would be to allow the fragments of the 
great republic to form themselves into new confederacies, 
probably four. 

"All the lines of demarkation between the new Unions 
can not be accurately drawn in advance, but many of them 
approximately may. Thus, looking to natural boundaries 
and commercial affinities, some of the following frontiers, 
after many waverings and conflicts, might perhaps become 
acknowledged and fixed: 

"1. The Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay to the 
Atlantic. 2. From Maryland, along the crest of the Alle- 


ghany (perhaps the Blue Eidge) range of mountains, to 
some point in the coast of Florida. 3. The line from, say, 
the head of the Potomac to the west or northwest, which it 
will be most difficult to settle. 4. The crest of the Rocky 

" The Southeast Confederacy would, in all human prob 
ability, in less than five years after the rupture, find itself 
bounded by the first and second lines indicated above the 
Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico with its capital at, say, 
Columbia, South Carolina. The country between the sec 
ond, third, and fourth of those lines would, beyond a doubt, 
in about the same time, constitute the Northeast Confed 
eracy, with its capital at Albany. 

" It, at the first thought, will be considered strange that 
seven slaveholding States and parts of Virginia and Florida 
should be placed (above) in a new confederacy with Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, etc. But when the overwhelming weight 
of the great Northwest is taken in connection with the laws 
of trade, contiguity of territory, and the comparative in 
difference to free-soil doctrines on the part of Western Vir 
ginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, it is evident 
that but little if any coercion, beyond moral force, would 
be needed to embrace them ; and I have omitted the temp 
tation of the un wasted public lands which would fall entire 
to this confederacy an appanage (well husbanded) suffi 
cient for many generations. As to Missouri, Arkansas, and 
Mississippi, they would not stand out a month. Louisiana 
would coalesce without much solicitation ; and Alabama, 
with West Florida, would be conquered the first winter, 
from the absolute need of Pensacola for a naval depot. 

"If I might presume to address the South, and particu 
larly dear Virginia * being native here and to the manor 
born I would affectionately ask : Will not your slaves be 
less secure, and their labor less profitable, under the new 


order of things than under the old ? Could you employ 
profitably two hundred slaves in all Nebraska, or five hun 
dred in all New Mexico ?* The right, then, to take them 
thither would be a barren right. And is it not wise to 
* Kather bear the ills we have, 
Than fly to others that we know not of ? 

" The Declaration of Independence proclaims and con 
secrates the same maxim : Prudence, indeed, will dictate 
that governments long established should not be changed 
for light and transient causes. And Paley, too, lays down 
as a fundamental maxim of statesmanship, ( Never to pur 
sue national honor as distinct from national interest ; but 
adds, This rule acknowledges that it is often necessary to 
assert the honor of a nation for the sake of its interests. 

" The excitement that threatens secession is caused by 
the near prospect of a Republican s election to the presi 
dency. From a sense of propriety, as a soldier, I have 
taken no part in the pending canvass, and, as always here 
tofore, mean to stay away from the polls. My sympathies, 
however, are with the Bell and Everett ticket. With Mr. 

* In relation to the practical use of slavery in New Mexico, a singular 
incident occurred in the spring of 1850, while the compromise measures 

were under discussion. My old friend Major K was stationed in New 

Mexico, and had traveled much through such parts of the Territory as were 
then accessible. He wrote me to this effect : " I imagine that they are now 
wrangling in Congress over the question of admitting slaves to this Terri 
tory. If the truth were known, there are not many square miles where 
they could exist, in the whole Territory. Its natural conformation easily 
settles that question." This letter was received near the 7th of March, 
1850, when Mr. Webster, in his famous speech on the subject, said in effect, 
" I fancy that, while we are discussing the question of admitting slavery to 
New Mexico, if the facts were known, the face of the country would, of 
itself, preclude all possibility of their being employed there." 

I handed to Mr. Seaton an extract from Major K s letter, with its 

date, and called his attention to Mr. Webster s speech. In a day or two, an 
interesting article on the subject appeared in the "National Intelligencer." 


Lincoln I have had no communication whatever, direct or 
indirect, and have no recollection of ever having seen his 
person ; but can not believe any unconstitutional violence, 
or breach of law, is to be apprehended from his administra 
tion of the Federal Government. 

" From a knowledge of our Southern population, it is 
my solemn conviction that there is some danger of an early 
act of rashness preliminary to secession, viz., the seizure of 
some or all of the following posts : Forts Jackson and St. 
Philip, in the Mississippi, below New Orleans, both with 
out garrisons ; Fort Morgan, below Mobile, without a gar 
rison ; Forts Pickens and McRee, Pensacola Harbor, with 
an insufficient garrison for one ; Fort Pulaski, below Sa 
vannah, without a garrison ; Forts Moultrie and Sumter, 
Charleston Harbor, the former with an insufficient garri 
son, and the latter without any ; and Fort Monroe, Hamp 
ton Roads, without a sufficient garrison. In my opinion, 
all these works should be immediately so garrisoned as to 
make any attempt to take any one of them by surprise or 
coup de main ridiculous. 

" With the army faithful to its allegiance and the navy 
probably equally so, and with a Federal Executive, for the 
next twelve months, of firmness and moderation, which the 
country has a right to expect moderation being an element 
of power not less ih%& firmness there is good reason to hope 
that the danger of secession may be made to pass away with 
out one conflict of arms, one execution, or one arrest for 

" In the mean time it is suggested that exports should 
remain as free as at present ; all duties, however, on im 
ports collected (outside of the cities*), as such receipts 
would be needed for the national debt, invalid pensions, 

* " In forts, or on board ships of war. The great aim and object of 
this plan was to gain time say eight or ten months to await expected 


etc., and only articles contraband of war be refused admit 
tance. But even this refusal would be unnecessary, as the 
foregoing views eschew the idea of invading a seceding State. 


" October 29, I860." 

"Lieutenant-General Scott s respects to the Secretary 
of War, to say : 

"That a copy of his Views, etc./ was dispatched to 
the President yesterday, in great haste ; but the copy in 
tended for the Secretary, better transcribed (herewith), 
was not in time for the mail. General S. would be happy 
if the latter could be substituted for the former. 

"It will be seen that the Views only apply to a case 
of secession that makes a gap in the present Union. The 
falling off (say) of Texas, or of all the Atlantic States, from 
the Potomac south, was not within the scope of General 
S. s provisional remedies. 

"It is his opinion that instructions should be given at 
once to the commanders of the Barrancas, Forts Moultrie 
and Monroe, to be on their guard against surprises and 
coups de main. As to regular approaches, nothing can be 
said or done, at this time, without volunteers. 

" There is one (regular) company at Boston, one here (at 
the Narrows), one at Pittsburg, one at Augusta, Georgia, 
and one at Baton Eouge in all five companies only, within 
reach,* to garrison or re-enforce the forts mentioned in the 

measures of conciliation on the part of the North, and the subsidence of 
angry feelings in the opposite quarter." 

* " Within reach " that is to say, so near that they can be reached im 
mediately. There were other " regular " companies that with a little more 
time could be reached for the purpose indicated, while, for a greater emer 
gency, the idea of " volunteers," for " regular approaches," was plainly 
hinted at. 



"General Scott is all solicitude for the safety of the 
Union. He is, however, not without hope that all dangers 
and difficulties will pass away, without leaving a scar or 
painful recollection behind. 

"The Secretary s most obedient servant, 

"W. S." 

" October 80, I860: 1 



" WASHINGTON, December 28, 1860. 

" Lieutenant-General Scott (who has had a bad night, 
and can scarcely hold up his head this morning) begs to 
express the hopes to the Secretary of War 1. That orders 
may not be given for the evacuation of Fort Sumter ; 

2. That one hundred and fifty recruits may instantly be 
sent from Governor s Island to re-enforce that garrison, 
with ample supplies of ammunition and subsistence, in 
cluding fresh vegetables, as potatoes, onions, turnips ; and, 

3. That one or two armed vessels be sent to support the 
said fort. 

"Lieutenant-General Scott avails himself of this oppor 
tunity also to express the hope that the recommendations 
heretofore made by him to the Secretary of War respecting 
Torts Jackson,* St. Philip,* Morgan, f and Pulaski,J; and 
particularly in respect to Forts Pickens * and McRee * and 
the Pensacola Navy- Yard, in connection with the two last- 
named works, may be reconsidered by the Secretary. 

" Lieutenant-General Scott will further ask the attention 
of the Secretary to Forts Jefferson || and Taylor, A which 

* At mouth of Mississippi River. * Pensacola Harbor, Florida, 

f Mobile Bay, Alabama. | Dry Tortugas, Florida, 

j Savannah River, Georgia. A Key West, Florida. 


are wholly national, being of far greater value even to the 
most distant points of the Atlantic coast, and to the people 
on the upper waters of the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio 
Rivers, than to the State of Florida. There is only a feeble 
company at Key West for the defense of Fort Taylor, and 
not a soldier in Fort Jefferson to resist a handful of fili 
busters or a row-boat of pirates ; and the Gulf, soon after 
the beginning of secession or revolutionary troubles in the 
adjacent States, will swarm with such nuisances. 
" Eespectfully submitted to the Secretary of War, 



" WASHINGTON, March 3, 1861. 

" DEAB SIR : Hoping that in a day or two the new 
President will have happily passed through all personal 
dangers, and find himself installed an honored successor of 
the great Washington, with you as the chief of his Cabinet, 
I beg leave to repeat, in writing, what I have before said 
to you orally, this supplement to my printed Views (dated 
in October last) on the highly disordered condition of our 
(so late) happy and glorious Union. 

" To meet the extraordinary exigencies of the times, it 
seems to me that I am guilty of no arrogance in limiting 
the President s field of selection to one of the four plans of 
procedure subjoined : 

" I. Throw off the old and assume the new designation 
the Union party ; adopt the conciliatory measures pro 
posed by Mr. Crittenden, or the Peace Convention, and, my 
life upon it, we shall have no new case of secession ; but, 
on the contrary, an early return of many, if not of all 
the States which have already broken off from the Union. 
Without some equally benign measure, the remaining 


slaveholding States will probably join the Montgomery 
Confederacy in less than sixty days ; when this city, being 
included in a foreign country, would require a permanent 
garrison of at least thirty-five thousand troops to protect 
the Government within it. 

" II. Collect the duties on foreign goods outside the 
ports of which the Government has lost the command, or 
close such ports by act of Congress, and blockade them. 

"III. Conquer the seceded States by invading armies. 
No doubt this might be done in two or three years by a 
young and able general a Wolfe, a Desaix, a Hoche with 
three hundred thousand disciplined men, estimating a third 
for garrisons, and the loss of a yet greater number by skir 
mishes, sieges, battles, and Southern fevers. The destruc 
tion of life and property on the other side would be frightful, 
however perfect the moral discipline of the invaders. 

"The conquest completed, at the enormous waste of 
human life to the North and Northwest, with at least 
$250,000,000 added thereto, and cui bono? Fifteen devas 
tated provinces ! not to be brought into.harmony with their 
conquerors, but to be held for generations by heavy gar 
risons, at an expense quadruple the net duties or taxes 
which it would be possible to extort from them, followed 
by a protector or an emperor. 

" IV. Say to the seceded States, Wayward sisters, depart 
in peace. 

"In haste, I remain, very truly yours, 


" Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, etc., etc." 






WASHINGTON, April 26, 1861. 

I. FROM the known assemblage near this city of numer 
ous hostile bodies of troops, it is evident that an attack 
upon it may soon be expected. In such an event, to meet 
and repel the enemy, it is necessary that some plan of har 
monious co-operation should be adopted on the part of all 
the forces, regular and volunteer, present for the defense 
of the capital that is, for the defense of the Government, 
the peaceable inhabitants of the city, their property, the 
public buildings and public archives. 

II. At the first moment of an attack, every regiment, 
battalion, squadron, and independent company, will prompt 
ly assemble at its established rendezvous (in or out of the 
public buildings), ready for battle, and wait for orders. 

III. The pickets (or advanced! guards) will stand fast 
till driven in by overwhelming forces ; but it is expected 
that those stationed to defend bridges having every ad 
vantage of position will not give way till actually pushed 
by the bayonet. Such obstinacy on the part of pickets so 
stationed is absolutely necessary, to give time for the troops, 
in the rear, to assemble at their places of rendezvous. 

IV. All advanced guards and pickets, driven in, will fall 
back slowly, to delay the advance of the enemy as much as 
possible, before repairing to their proper rendezvous. 

V. On the happening of an attack, the troops, lodged 
in the public buildings, and in the navy-yard, will remain 
for their defense, respectively, unless specially ordered else 
where ; with the exceptions that the Seventh New York 


Regiment and the Massachusetts Eegiment will march rap 
idly towards the President s Square for its defense ; and the 
Rhode Island Regiment (in the Department of the Inte 
rior), when full, will make a diversion by detachment, to 
assist in the defense of the General Post-Office Building, if 
necessary. WINFIELD SCOTT. 

By command : 

E. D. TOW^SEND, Assistant Adjutant- General. 


DENT, DECEMBER 1, 1862. 

A CHIEF hope of those who set the rebellion on foot 
was for aid and comfort from disloyal sympathizers in the 
Northern States, whose efforts were relied upon to divide 
and distract the people of the North, and prevent them 
from putting forth their whole strength to preserve the 
national existence. The call for volunteers and a draft of 
the militia afforded an occasion for disloyal persons to ac 
complish their evil purpose by discouraging enlistments, 
and encouraging opposition to the war and the draft of 
soldiers to carry it on. 

Anxiety was felt in some States at the probable success 
of these disloyal practices, and the Government was urged 
to adopt measures of protection by temporary restraint of 
those engaged in these hostile acts. To that end provost- 
marshals were appointed in some of the States, upon the 
nomination of their Governors, to act under the direction 
of the State Executive, and the writ of habeas corpus was 
suspended by your order. By the order of the department 
arrests were forbidden unless authorized by the State Exec- 


utive or by the judge-advocate. Some instances of unau 
thorized arrests have occurred, but when brought to the 
notice of the department the parties have been immediately 
discharged. By a recent order, all persons arrested for 
discouraging enlistments or for disloyal practices, in States 
where the quotas of volunteers and militia are filled up, 
have been released. Other persons, arrested by military 
commanders and sent from departments where their pres 
ence was deemed dangerous to the public safety, have been 
discharged upon parole to be of good behavior and do no act 
of hostility against the Government of the United States. 
While military arrests of disloyal persons form the subject 
of complaint in some States, the discharge of such persons 
is complained of in other States. It has been the aim of 
the department to avoid any encroachment upon individual 
rights, as far as might be consistent with public safety and 
the preservation of the Government. But reflecting minds 
will perceive that no greater encouragement can be given 
to the enemy, no more dangerous act of hostility can be 
perpetrated in this war, than efforts to prevent recruiting 
and enlistments for the armies, upon whose strength na 
tional existence depends. The expectations of the rebel 
leaders and their sympathizers in loyal States, that the call 
for volunteers would not be answered and that the draft 
could not be enforced, have failed, and nothing is left but 
to clamor at the means by which their hopes were frus 
trated, and to strive to disarm the Government in future, 
if, in the chances of war, another occasion for increasing 
the military force should arise. 




NOTE. The words in the original draft erased by General Scott are 
here inserted in brackets, and the words substituted or added by him are 
printed in italics. (See page 56.) 



WASHINGTON, May 3, 1861. 

Major- General G. B. MCCLELLAK, commanding, etc. 

SIK : I have read and carefully considered your plan 
for a campaign, and now send you, confidentially, my own 
views, supported by certain facts of which you should be 
advised : 

1. It is the design of the Government to [call for] raise 
25,000 additional regular troops, and 60,000 volunteers for 
[two] three years. It will be inexpedient either to rely on 
the three months volunteers for extensive [military] opera 
tions, or to put in their hands the best class of arms we 
have in store. The term of service would expire [before 
the] ~by the commencement of a regular campaign, and the 
arms [would] not lost be returned [many of them] mostly 
in a damaged condition. Hence, I must strongly urge upon 
you to confine yourself strictly to the quota of three months 
men called for by the War Department. 

2. [I] We rely greatly on the sure operation of a com 
plete blockade of the Atlantic and Gulf ports [such as it is 
designed to enforce] soon to commence. In connection with 
such blockade, [I] we propose a [strong] powerful move 
ment down the [Western Rivers] Mississippi to [New Or 
leans] the ocean, with a cordon of posts at proper points, 
and [a reoccupation] the capture of Forts Jackson and St. 


Philip ; the object being to clear out and keep open th[e]/s 
great line[s] of [water] communication [s, and] in connec 
tion with the strict blockade [above adverted to] of the sea 
board, so as to envelope the insurgent States, and bring 
them to terms with less blood-shed than ~by any other plan. 
For this end I [say] suppose there will be needed from 
twelve to twenty steam-gunboats, and a sufficient number 
of steam- transports (say 40) to carry all the personnel* 
(say 60,000 men) and materiel * of th[is]e expedition. [A 
part] Most of the gunboats to [go in] be in advance to 
open the way, and [others] the remainder to follow [and 
prevent the recapture of posts of the proposed cordon, after 
the head column has advanced beyond supporting distance] 
and protect the rear of the expedition. Th[e]i,s army, in 
which it is not improbable you may [command] be invited 
to take an important part, should be composed of [the] our 
best regulars [we can find] for the advance, and of [two] 3 
years volunteers, all well [appointed] officered, and with 
[a sufficient supply of subsistence and munitions] 4~k months* 
of instruction in camps, prior to (say) Nov. 10. In the 
progress down the Eiver all the enemy s batteries [which 
may have been planted] on its banks [must be] we of course 
would turnfed] and capturefd], [and] leaving a sufficient 
number of posts [must be left] with competent; garrisons to 
keep the River open [to its mouth] behind the expedition. 
Finally, it will be necessary that New Orleans [must be] 
should be strongly occupied and securely held until the 
present difficulties are composed. 

3. [I come] A word now as to the greatest obstacle[s to 
be encountered in carrying out] in the way of this plan 
the great danger now pressing upon us [is] the impa 
tience of our patriotic and loyal Union friends, [Northern 

* Underlined by the general. 


men, which is forcing them on to] They will urge instant 
and vigorous action, regardless, I fear, of consequences 
[We must not now despise the stern lessons of experience. 
It is more glorious to win a sure success, without a single 
reverse, by waiting until our plans are matured and our 
preparations are perfected, than to plunge into the midst 
of dangers arising from climate, want of discipline, etc., 
etc., intending by indomitable courage and energy to rise 
above them all. Impress this] ; that is, unwilling to wait 
for the slow instruction of (say) 12 or 15 camps ; for the 
rise of rivers and the return of frosts to kill the virus of 
malignant fevers, leloiv Memphis. I fear this; but im 
press right views, on every proper occasion, upon the brave 
men who are hastening to the support of their Government. 
Lose no time, while necessary preparations [are making for 
an expedition] for the great expedition are in progress, in 
organizing, drilling, and disciplining your [men] 3 months 
men, many of whom, it is hoped, will be ultimately found 
enrolled under the call for [two] 3 years volunteers. 
Should an urgent and immediate occasion arise, mean 
time, for their services, they will be the more effective. 

I commend these views to your [calm and serious de 
liberation] consideration, and shall be happy to hear the 
result [when your opinion is fully made up]. 

With great respect, yours truly, 


Commanding Ohio Volunteers, 
Cincinnati, Ohio. 




Act approved August 3, 1861. 

SECTION" 15. And le it further enacted, That any com 
missioned officer of the army, or of the marine corps, who 
shall have served as such for forty consecutive years, may, 
upon his own application to the President of the United 
States, be placed upon the list of retired officers, with the 
pay and emoluments allowed by this act. 

SEC. 16. . . . Provided, That should the brevet lieu 
tenant-general be retired under this act, it shall be without 
reduction in his current pay, subsistence, or allowances. 


" WASHINGTON, October 31, 1861. 

" The Hon. S. CAMEKON, Secretary of War. 

" SIR : For more than three years I have been unable, 
from a hurt, to mount a horse or to walk more than a few 
paces at a time, and that with much pain. Other and new 
infirmities, dropsy and vertigo, admonish me that repose 
of mind and body, with the appliances of surgery and 
medicine, are necessary to add a little more to a life already 
protracted much beyond the usual space of man. It is 
under such circumstances, made doubly painful by the un 
natural and unjust rebellion now raging in the Southern 
States of our so lately prosperous and happy Union, that 
I am compelled to request that my name be placed on the 
list of army officers retired from active service. As this 
request is founded on an absolute right, granted by a re 
cent act of Congress, I am entirely at liberty to say that 
it is with deep regret that I withdraw myself in these mo 
mentous times from the orders of a President who has 


treated me with much distinguished kindness and courtesy, 
whom I know upon much personal intercourse to be patri 
otic, without sectional prejudices ; to be highly conscien 
tious in the performance of every duty, and of unrivaled 
activity and perseverance ; and to you, Mr. Secretary, whom 
I now officially address for the last time, I beg to acknowl 
edge my many obligations for the uniform high considera 
tion I have received at your hands, and have the honor to 
remain, sir, with the highest respect, 

" Your obedient servant, 


A special Cabinet council was convened this morning 
(November 1st) at nine o clock, to take the subject into con 
sideration. It was decided that General Scott s request, 
under the circumstances of his advanced age and infirmities, 
could not be declined. General McClellan was, therefore, 
with the unanimous agreement of the Cabinet, notified 
that the command of the army would be devolved upon 

"At four o clock in the afternoon the Cabinet again 
waited upon the President and attended him to the resi 
dence of General Scott. Being seated, the President read 
to the general the following order : 

" On the first day of November, A. D. 1861, upon his 
own application to the President of the United States, 
brevet Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott is ordered to be 
placed, and hereby is placed, upon the list of retired officers 
of the Army of the United States, without reduction in 
his current pay, subsistence, or allowance. The American 
people will hear with sadness and deep emotion that Gen 
eral Scott has withdrawn from the active control of the 
army, while the President and unanimous Cabinet express 

* The following account was taken from a daily newspaper. 


their own and the nation s sympathy in his personal afflic 
tion, and their profound sense of the important public 
services rendered by him to his country during his long 
and brilliant career, among which will ever be gratefully 
distinguished his faithful devotion to the Constitution, the 
Union, and the flag, when assailed by parricidal rebellion. 

" General Scott thereupon arose and addressed the 
Cabinet, who had also risen, as follows : 

" President, this honor overwhelms me. It overpays all 
the services I have attempted to render to my country. If 
I had any claims before, they are all obliterated by this ex 
pression of approval by the President, with the remaining 
support of his Cabinet. I know the President and his 
Cabinet well. I know that the country has placed its in 
terests in this trying crisis in safe keeping. Their counsels 
are wise, their labors as untiring as they are loyal, and 
their course is the right one. 

" President, you must excuse me. I am unable to stand 
longer to give utterance to the feelings of gratitude which 
oppress me. In my retirement I shall offer up my prayers 
to God for this Administration and for my country. I shall 
pray for it with confidence in its success over all enemies, 
and that speedily." 

" The President then took leave of General Scott, giving 
him his hand, and saying that he hoped soon to write him 
a private letter expressive of his gratitude and affection. 
The President added : 

" General, you will naturally feel a solicitude about the 
gentlemen of your staff, who have rendered you and their 
country such faithful service. I have taken that subject 
into consideration. I understand that they go with you 
to New York. I shall desire them at their earliest conven- 


ience after their return to make their wishes known to me. 
I desire you now, however, to be satisfied that except the 
unavoidable privation of your counsel and society, which 
they have so long enjoyed, the provision which will be made 
for them will be such as to render their situation as agree 
able hereafter as it has been heretofore. 

"Each member of the Administration then gave his 
hand to the veteran, and retired in profound silence. 

"The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of War 
accompanied General Scott to New York on the following 
morning by the early train. 

" The following was the response of the Secretary of War 
to the letter of General Scott : 

" WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, November 1, 1861. 

" GENERAL : It was my duty to lay before the President 
your letter of yesterday, asking to be relieved on the recent 
act of Congress. In separating from you I can not refrain 
from expressing my deep regret that your health, shattered 
by long service and repeated wounds, received in your 
country s defense, should render it necessary for you to re 
tire from your high position at this momentous period of 
our history. Although you are not to remain in active 
service, I yet hope that, while I continue in charge of the 
department over which I now preside, I shall at times be 
permitted to avail myself of the benefits of your wise coun 
sels and sage experience. It has been my good fortune to 
enjoy a personal acquaintance with you for over thirty years, 
and the pleasant relations of that long time have been greatly 
strengthened by your cordial and entire co-operation in all 
the great questions which have occupied the Department 
and convulsed the country for the last six months. In 
parting from you I can only express the hope that a merci 
ful Providence that has protected you amid so many trials 


will improve your health and continue your life long after 
the people of the country shall have been restored to their 
former happiness and prosperity. 

"I am, general, very sincerely, 

" Your friend and servant, 
" SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War 

" Lieutenant-General WINFIELD SCOTT, present." 



ON the evening of Thursday, the 12th day of January, 
1865, the following persons of African descent met, by ap 
pointment, to hold an interview with EDWIN M. STANTON, 
Secretary of War, and Major- General SHERMAN, to have a 
conference upon matters relating to the freedmen of the 
State of Georgia, to wit : 

1. William J. Campbell, aged fifty-one years, born in 
Savannah ; slave until 1849, and then liberated by will of 
his mistress, Mrs. Mary Maxwell ; for ten years pastor of 
the First Baptist Church of Savannah, numbering about 
eighteen hundred members ; average congregation nineteen 
hundred ; the church property belonging to the congrega 
tion (trustees white) worth eighteen thousand dollars. 

2. John Cox, aged fifty-eight years, born in Savannah ; 
slave until 1849, when he bought his freedom for eleven hun 
dred dollars ; pastor of the Second African Baptist Church ; 
in the ministry fifteen years ; congregation twelve hundred 
and twenty-two persons ; church property worth ten thou 
sand dollars, belonging to the congregation. 

3. Ulysses L. Houston, aged forty-one years, born in 
Grahamsville, South Carolina; slave " until the Union 


army entered Savannah " ; owned by Moses Henderson, 
Savannah ; and pastor of Third African Baptist Church, 
congregation numbering four hundred ; church property 
worth five thousand dollars, belongs to congregation; in 
the ministry about eight years. 

4. William Bentley, aged seventy-two years, born in 
Savannah ; slave until twenty-five years of age, when his 
master, John Waters, emancipated him by will ; pastor of 
Andrew s Chapel, Methodist Episcopal Church (only one 
of that denomination in Savannah), congregation number 
ing three hundred and sixty members ; church property 
worth about twenty thousand dollars, and is owned by the 
congregation ; been in the ministry about twenty years ; a 
member of Georgia Conference. 

5. Charles Bradivell, aged forty years, born in Liberty 
County, Georgia ; slave until 1851 ; emancipated by will 
of his master, J. L. Bradwell ; local preacher, in charge of 
the Methodist Episcopal congregation (Andrew s Chapel) 
in the absence of the minister ; in the ministry ten years. 

6. William Gaines, aged forty-one years, born in Wills 
County, Georgia ; slave "until the Union forces freed 
me " ; owned by Robert Toombs, formerly United States 
Senator, and his brother, Gabriel Toombs ; local preacher 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Andrew s Chapel) ; in 
the ministry sixteen years. 

7. James Hill, aged fifty-two years, born in Bryan 
County, Georgia; slave "up to the time the Union army 
come in " ; owned by H. F. Willings, of Savannah ; in the 
ministry sixteen years. 

8. Glasgow Taylor, aged seventy-two years, born in 
Wilkes County, Georgia; slave "until the Union army 
come " ; owned by A. P. Wetter ; is a local preacher of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church (Andrew s Chapel) ; in the 
ministry thirty-five years. 


9. Garrison Frazier, aged sixty-seven years, born in 
Granville County, North Carolina ; slave until eight years 
ago, when he bought himself and wife, paying one thou 
sand dollars in gold and silver ; is an ordained minister in 
the Baptist Church, but, his health failing, has now charge 
of no congregation ; has been in the ministry thirty-five 

10. James Mills, aged fifty-six years, born in Savannah ; 
free-born, and is a licensed preacher of the First Baptist 
Church ; has been eight years in the ministry. 

11. Abraham Burke, aged forty-eight years, born in 
Bryan County, Georgia ; slave until twenty years ago, when 
he bought himself for eight hundred dollars ; has been in 
the ministry about ten years. 

12. Arthur War dell, aged forty-four years, born in Lib 
erty County, Georgia; slave until "freed by the Union 
army " ; owned by A. A. Solomons, Savannah, and is a 
licensed minister in the Baptist Church ; has been in the 
ministry six years. 

13. A lexander Harris, aged forty-seven years, born in 
Savannah ; free-born ; licensed minister of Third African 
Baptist Church ; licensed about one month ago. 

14. Andreiv Neal, aged sixty-one years, born in Savan 
nah ; slave "until the Union army liberated me" ; owned 
by Mr. William Gibbons, and has been deacon in the Third 
Baptist Church for ten years. 

15. James Porter, aged thirty- nine years, born in Charles 
ton, South Carolina ; free-born, his mother having purchased 
her freedom ; is lay-reader and president of the board of ward 
ens and vestry of St. Stephen s Protestant Episcopal Colored 
Church in Savannah ; has been in communion nine years ; 
the congregation numbers about two hundred persons ; the 
church property is worth about ten thousand dollars, and is 
owned by the congregation. 


16. Adolphus Delmotte, aged twenty-eight years, born 
in Savannah ; free-born ; is a licensed minister of the Mis 
sionary Baptist Church of Milledgeville, congregation num 
bering about three or four hundred persons ; has been in 
the ministry about two years. 

17. Jacob Godfrey, aged fifty-seven years, born in Marion, 
South Carolina ; slave "until the Union army freed me" ; 
owned by James E. Godfrey, Methodist preacher, now in 
the rebel army ; is a class-leader, and steward of Andrew s 
Chapel since 1836. 

18. John Johnson, aged fifty-one years, born in Bryan 
County, Georgia; slave "up to the time the Union army 
came here ; " owned by "W. W. Lincoln, of Savannah ; is 
class-leader, and treasurer of Andrew s Chapel for sixteen 

19. Robert N. Taylor, aged fifty-one years, born in 
Wilkes County, Georgia; slave "to the time the Union 
army come " ; was owned by Augustus P. Wetter, Savan 
nah, and is class-leader in Andrew s Chapel for nine years. 

20. James Lynch, aged twenty-six years, born in Balti 
more, Maryland ; free-born ; is presiding elder of the Meth 
odist Episcopal Church, and missionary to the Department 
of the South ; has been seven years in the ministry, and two 
years in the South. 

Garrison Frazier being chosen by the persons present 
to express their common sentiments upon the matters of 
inquiry, makes answers to inquiries as follows : 

1. State what your understanding is in regard to the 
acts of Congress, and President Lincoln s proclamation, 
touching the condition of the colored people in the rebel 

Answer. So far as I understand President Lincoln s 
proclamation to the rebellious States, it is, that if they 


would lay down their arms and submit to the laws of the 
United States before the 1st of January, 1863, all should 
be well ; but if they did not, then all the slaves in the rebel 
States should be free, henceforth and forever : that is what 
I understood. 

2. State what you understand by slavery, and the free 
dom that was to be given by the President s Proclamation. 

Answer. Slavery is receiving by irresistible power the 
work of another man, and not by his consent. The free 
dom, as I understand it, promised by the proclamation, is 
taking us from under the yoke of bondage and placing us 
where we could reap the fruit of our own labor, and take 
care of ourselves, and assist the Government in maintaining 
our freedom. 

3. State in what manner you think you can take care 
of yourselves, and how can you best assist the Government 
in maintaining your freedom. 

Answer. The way we can best take care of ourselves is 
to have land, and turn in and till it by our labor that is, 
by the labor of the women, and children, and old men and 
we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to 
spare ; and to assist the Government, the young men should 
enlist in the service of the Government, and serve in such 
manner as they may be wanted (the rebels told us that 
they piled them up and made batteries of them, and sold 
them to Cuba, but we don t believe that). We want to be 
placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our 

4. State in what manner you would rather live, whether 
scattered among the whites, or in colonies by yourselves. 

Answer. I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there 
is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years 
to get over ; but I do not know that I can answer for my 


[Jfr. Lynch says he thinks they should not be sepa 
rated, but live together. All the other persons present 
being questioned, one by one, answer that they agree with 
" brother Frazier."] 

5. Do you think that there is intelligence enough 
among the slaves of the South to maintain themselves un 
der the Government of the United States, and the equal 
protection of its laws, and maintain good and peaceable 
relations among yourselves and with your neighbors ? 

Answer. I think there is sufficient intelligence among 
us to do so. 

6. State what is the feeling of the black population of 
the South toward the Government of the United States ; 
what is the understanding in respect to the present war, its 
causes and object, and their disposition to aid either side ; 
state fully your views. 

Answer. I think you will find there is thousands that 
are willing to make any sacrifice to assist the Government 
of the United States, while there is also many that are not 
willing to take up arms. I do not suppose there is a dozen 
men that is opposed to the Government. I understand 
as to the war that the South is the aggressor. President 
Lincoln was elected President by a majority of the United 
States, which guaranteed him the right of holding the office 
and exercising that right over the whole United States. 
The South, without knowing what he would do, rebelled. 
The war was commenced by the rebels before he came into 
the office. The object of the war was not, at first, to give 
the slaves their freedom, but the sole object of the war was, 
at first to bring the rebellious States back into the Union, 
and their loyalty to the laws of the United States. After 
wards, knowing the value that was set on the slaves by the 
rebels, the President thought that his proclamation would 
stimulate them to lay down their arms, reduce them to 


obedience, and help to bring back the rebel States ; and 
their not doing so has now made the freedom of the slaves 
a part of the war. It is my opinion that there is not a man 
in this city that could be started to help the rebels one inch, 
for that would be suicide. There was two black men left 
with the rebels, because they had taken an active part for 
the rebels, and thought something might befall them if 
they staid behind, but there is not another man. If the 
prayers that have gone up for the Union army could be read 
out, you would not get through them these two weeks. 

7. State whether the sentiments you now express are 
those only of the colored people in the city, or do they ex 
tend to the colored population through the country, and 
what are your means of knowing the sentiments of those 
living in the country ? 

Answer. I think the sentiments are the same among the 
colored people of the State. My opinion is formed by 
personal communication in the course of my ministry, and 
also from the thousands that followed the Union army, 
leaving their homes and undergoing suffering. I did not 
think there would t be so many ; the number surpassed my 

8. If the rebel -leaders were to arm the slaves, what 
would be its effect ? 

Answer. I think they would fight as long as they were 
before the bagonet, and just as soon as they could get away 
they would desert, in my opinion. 

9. What, in your opinion, is the feeling of the colored 
people about enlisting and serving as soldiers of the United 
States, and what kind of military service do they prefer ? 

Answer. A large number have gone as soldiers to Port 
Royal to be drilled and put in the service, and I think 
there is thousands of the young men that will enlist ; there 
is something about them that, perhaps, is wrong ; they 


have suffered so long from the rebels, that they want to 
meet and have a chance with them in the field. Some of 
them want to shoulder the musket, others want to go into 
the quartermaster or the commissary s service. 

10. Do you understand the mode of enlistment of col 
ored persons in the rebel States, by State agents, under the 
act of Congress ; if yea, state what your understanding is ? 

Answer. My understanding is that colored persons en 
listed by State agents are enlisted as substitutes, and give 
credit to the States, and do not swell the army, because 
every black man enlisted by a State agent leaves a white 
man at home ; and, also, that larger bounties are given or 
promised by the State agents than are given by the States. 
The great object should be to push through this rebellion 
the shortest way, and there seems to be something wanting 
in the enlistment by State agents, for it don t strengthen 
the army, but takes one away for every colored man enlisted. 

11. State what in your opinion is the best way to enlist 
colored men for soldiers. 

Answer. I think, sir, that all compulsory operations 
should be put a stop to. The ministers would talk to them, 
and the young men would enlist. It is my opinion that it 
would be far better for the State agents to stay at home, and 
the enlistments to be made for the United States under the 
direction of General SHERMAN. 

In the absence of General SHERMAN", the following ques 
tion was asked : 

12. State what is the feeling of the colored people in re 
gard to General SHERMAN, and how far do they regard his 
sentiments and actions as friendly to their rights and in 
terests, or otherwise ? 

Answer. We looked upon General SHERMAN, prior to 
his arrival, as a man, in the providence of God, specially 
set apart to accomplish this work, and we unanimously felt 


inexpressible gratitude to him, looking upon him as a man 
that should be honored for the faithful performance of his 
duty. Some of us called upon him immediately upon his 
arrival, and it is probable he did not meet the Secretary 
with more courtesy than he met us. His conduct and de 
portment towards us characterized him as a friend and a 
gentleman. We have confidence in General SHERMAN", and 
think that what concerns us could not be under better 
hands. This is our opinion now from the short acquaint 
ance and intercourse we have had. 

[Mr. Lynch states that, with his limited acquaintance 
with General SHERMAN, he is unwilling to express an opin 
ion. All others present declare their agreement with Mr. 
Frazier about General SHERMAN.] 

Some conversation upon general subjects relating to 
General SHERMAN S march then ensued, of which no note 
was taken. 



From the Boston Herald. 

WASHINGTON, April 21, 1879. 

THE following communication was to-day handed to the 
Secretary of War by William J. Dupee, who is at this time 
a messenger in the War Department, and was the private 
messenger of the late Secretary Stanton. Summaries of 
the affidavits which accompany the letter are sent you with 
it. The revival recently of the absurd and malicious tale 
that Mr. Stanton committed suicide is the occasion of this 
publication, as well as of a letter from Surgeon-General 
Barnes, who was Mr. Stanton s physician, and who was 


at his bedside when he died. There was never the least 
ground for the suicide story, which was the malicious in 
vention of men who hated him for his devotion to the 
Union cause, and could find no other way to gratify their 
baseness than to circulate a tale which could not hurt him, 
but was intended to annoy and distress his widow and chil 
dren : 

WASHINGTON, April 21, 1879. 
To the Hon. Secretary of War. 

SIR : I respectfully ask that the inclosed affidavits of 
William S. Dupee and David Jones, relating to the manner 
of the death of the late Edwin M. Stanton, formerly 
Secretary of War, be admitted to the files of the War De 
partment. For the first time since the death of Mr. Stan- 
ton, a permanent character and a responsible name have 
been lent to a story that found utterance in some obscure 
newspapers, shortly after his death, that he had committed 
suicide, and that the fact had been carefully concealed from 
the public. General Kichard Taylor, of the late Confed 
erate army, among his " Personal Experiences of the Late 
War," asserts, with much obscurity of language but equal 
directness of meaning, that the former Secretary of War 
died by his own hand. The widow and adult son of Mr. 
Stanton are both dead, and I therefore feel at liberty to act 
upon my own view of what is right to be done in refuting 
the malicious and slanderous tale repeated by General Tay 
lor. Very respectfully, 



Messenger in office of Secretary of War, and has been 
since 1864 ; much with late Secretary Stanton during his 
last illness ; mind all the time clear and strong ; disposition 


cheerful, hopeful of recovery ; death, however, a foregone 
conclusion with members of the household, and surprise 
that he lasted so long ; after death of Mr. Stanton, and 
while body still warm, affiant shaved his throat and face 
and dressed his hair ; no marks of violence on him, nor 
could any have escaped observation of affiant ; affiant had 
much intercourse with the family servants, and never saw 
or heard anything to lend countenance to the story of Mr. 
Stanton s death by suicide, and when the story first made 
its appearance, soon after the "death, it was the subject of 
mingled indignation and ridicule among those who had 
been about Mr. Stanton at the time of his death. 

The affiant quotes the passage from Dick Taylor s late 
book, " Destruction and Keconstruction," which has led 
him to make his affidavit. It is as follows : 

" 1. The War Secretary I did not meet. ... I never 
saw him. In the end, conscience, long dormant, came as 
Alecto, and he was not." . . . 


Lives at No. 1807 T street, Northwest ; was waiter in 
family of Edwin M. Stanton at the time of his death, and 
in constant attendance on him till he died ; no signs of 
weak or wandering mind till a day or so before his death, 
when the patient was feverish, and his mind would now and 
then wander for a short time ; after fever appeared, patient 
was never a moment alone at any time of day or night. (He 
names six or seven persons who used to relieve him and 
each other in occasional attendance.) Affiant saw nothing 
in the appearance of Mr. Stanton to indicate death till 
almost at the moment of death, and had no idea he was in 
imminent danger till Surgeon-General Barnes told him to 
go for Dr. Starkey, minister of the Episcopal Church, about 
half an hour before death ; when Dr. Starkey arrived, Mr. 


Stanton was conscious and able to speak in a low voice, 
and so remained till about the moment of death, affiant 
rubbing him at the time ; affiant assisted in dressing and 
preparing the body, and is positive there were no marks of 
violence anywhere ; the corpse was laid out in a front room 
up-stairs, and for three days was viewed by a great number 
of personal friends of the deceased ; there is no foundation 
whatever for story of the suicide. 


WASHINGTON, D. C., April 16, 1879. 
The Hon. EDWARD McPHERSO^, Philadelphia. 

DEAR SIR : In reply to your inquiry, the late Mr. Edwin 
M. Stanton was for many years subject to asthma in a very 
severe form, and when he retired from the War Department 
was completely broken down in health. In November, of 
1869, the " dropsy of cardiac disease " manifested itself 
(after a very exhausting argument in chambers, in a legal 
case), and from that time he did not leave his house, rarely 
his bed. For many days before his death I was with him 
almost constantly, and at no time was he without most 
careful attendance by members of his family or nurses. 
On the night of December 23d the dropsical effusion into 
pericardium had increased to such an extent and the symp 
toms were so alarming that the Eev. Dr. Starkey, rector of 
the Church of the Epiphany, was summoned and read the 
service appointed for such occasions ; he, with Mrs. Stan- 
ton, Mr. E. L. Stanton, the three younger children, Miss 
Bowie, their governess, myself, and several of the servants, 
were by his bedside until he died, at 4 A. M., December 24, 
1869. After the pulse became imperceptible at the wrist, 
I placed a finger on the carotid artery, afterward my hand 
over his heart, and when its action ceased I announced it 
to those present. 


It is incomprehensible to me how any suspicion or re 
port of suicide could have originated, except through sheer 
and intentional malice, as there was not the slightest inci 
dent before or during his long sickness indicative of such 
a tendency nor a possibility of such an act. Fully aware 
of his critical condition, he was calm and composed, not 
wishing to die, while unterrified at the prospect of death. 
During the lifetime of his widow and of his son, Mr. E. L. 
Stanton, I did not feel called upon to make any written 
contradiction of the infamous and malignant falsehoods 
you allude to ; but now, in view of your letter of April 14th, 
and in behalf of Mr. Stanton s minor children, I do most 
emphatically and unequivocally assert that there is not 
any foundation whatever for the report that Mr. Edwin M. 
Stanton died from other than natural causes, or that he at 
tempted or committed suicide. 

Very respectfully yours, 




October 8, 1846. 

THE within draft of a letter it may be proper to address 
to each commander of an army now operating against 
Mexico. I am aware that it presents grave topics for con 
sideration, which is invited. 

It will be seen that I have endeavored to place all ne 
cessary limitations on martial law : 1. By restricting it 
to a foreign hostile country ; 2. To offenses enumerated 
with some accuracy ; 3, By assimilating councils of war 


to courts-martial ; 4. By restricting punishments to the 
known laws of some one of the States, etc. 

Respectfully submitted to the consideration of the Sec 
retary of War. WIKFIELD SCOTT. 



WASHINGTON, October , 1846. 

SIB : It can not but happen that many offenses, not cog 
nizable by courts-martial, under the " act for establishing 
rules and articles of war for the government of the armies 
of the United States," approved April 10, 1806, will be 
committed by or upon the army under your command 
while in the enemy s country. I allude to crimes which, if 
committed in our own organized limits, would, as hereto 
fore, be referred to the ordinary or civil courts of the land. 
Cross, p. 107. 

Our land-forces take with them, when on service beyond 
the limits of the Union, its organized Territories, and the 
"Indian country," as defined by the first section of the act 
approved June 30, 1834, no statutory code for the punish 
ment of offenses, other than the said recited act of 1806, 
with its amendments. Cross, p. 204. 

Murder, willfully stabbing and maiming, and assault and 
battery, committed upon any "superior officer," and no one 
else ; or the drawing and lifting up any weapon against, or 
the offering of any violence to, such officer (he being in the 
several cases "in the execution of his duty"} , by any "offi 
cer or soldier," or other person subject to said articles, are 
all clearly within the ninth of those articles. Cross, p. 

Wanton disturbance of religious worship is made pun 
ishable by the second article, without reference to place or 
country. Cross, p. 107. 


So are spies (not citizens of the United States), by the 
second section of the said act of 1806. Cross, p. 123. 

Other capital oifenses against the general safety of the 
Union and army are expressly referred to courts-martial by 
the fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh articles. Cross, p. 116. 

The fifty-first and fifty-fifth provide for a few other 
capital offenses which may be committed abroad ; and the 
fifty-second abroad or at home, upon persons or property, 
by individuals of the army ; and the ninety-ninth article re 
fers numerous non-specified crimes, " not capital," but mere 
ly " disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order 
and military discipline," to courts-martial, whether such 
oifenses be committed at home or abroad. Cross, pp. 115, 
116, 123. 

It is evident that the ninety-ninth article, so qualified or 
limited, can not apply to the numerous omitted offenses in 
question, many of which, if committed, ought no doubt to 
be punished with death, or otherwise severely ; for it is 
enacted in the eighty - seventh that "no person shall be 
sentenced to suffer death " by general courts-martial, " ex 
cept in the cases herein expressly mentioned " a limitation 
which has been universally applied to the commissions of 
officers also. Cross, p. 120. 

Articles 32, 33, and 54, seem to be limited to the 
general maintenance of good order at home and abroad, and 
to the protection of persons and property within the United 
States. Cross, pp. 112, 115. 

Assassination, willful murder, stabbing, maiming, 
wounding, assault and battery (except under the strict lim 
itations of the ninth and fifty-first articles) ; rape, willful 
destruction of houses, or other private property ; robbery 
and theft, or plunder and pillage (except in the limited 
cases under the fifty-second and fifty-fifth articles) ; and 
desecration of religious edifices, fixtures, and monuments, 


are all, whether committed by or upon the army, at home 
or abroad, unprovided for by our written military code ; 
and they are offenses which, of course, could not, in a for 
eign hostile country, often, if ever, be safely turned over to 
the courts of such country, whether the offenders belong 
to the latter or to the army. 

The good of the service, the honor of the United States, 
and the interests of humanity, demand that the numerous 
grave offenses omitted, except to a limited extent as above, 
should not go unpunished because committed in a foreign 
country, on or by our army. 

The British mutiny act, and articles of war founded 
thereupon (which had their origin at the Revolution of 
1688), omit the same offenses, and to the same extent, be 
cause, as Lord Loughborough (2 H. Blackstone, 98) re 
marks, "In this country, all the delinquencies of soldiers 
are not triable, as in most countries of Europe, by mar 
tial law " (which, he says in the same opinion, had, in 
the Continental sense, been " totally exploded " from that 
kingdom since 1688 ; " but, where there are ordinary 
offenses against the civil peace, they are tried by the com 
mon-law courts" (and such also has always been done in 
the United States). 

But when a British army is abroad, in a hostile country, 
the omissions in the British penal code (the same as in 
ours, and to the same extent, for our articles of war are 
borrowed in extenso and with but slight verbal variations 
therefrom), that army supplies those omissions by the 
supplemental, unwritten, and undefined code, called martial 

This law can have no constitutional, legal, or even ne 
cessary existence, within the United States. At home, even 
the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, by Congress, 
could only lead to the indefinite incarceration of an individ- 


ual or individuals who, if further punished at all, could 
only be so punished through the ordinary or common-law 
courts of the land. 

But abroad, and in hostile countries, it is believed that 
the commanders of our armies, like those of Great Britain, 
may, ex necessitate rei, enforce martial law against any of 
the grave offenses indicated above, which may be unpro 
vided for in our statutory code, whether such offenses be 
committed by persons appertaining to those armies, or by 
the inhabitants of the hostile country. 

Accordingly, no matter by whom such offenses may be 
committed in the hostile country occupied by the army 
under your immediate command, or in which it may be en 
gaged in military operations, whether by persons appertain 
ing to that army upon the persons and property of each 
other, or by such persons upon the persons or property of 
the inhabitants of the hostile country, or by the latter upon 
the persons or property of the army and its followers, all 
such offenses, if against the laws of war, and not provided 
for in our rules and articles of war, will be duly brought 
before councils of war and by them tried and sentenced, 
according to the nature and degree of such offense, and ac 
cording to the known laws of any one of the States of this 

Every council of war, for the trial of such offenses, will 
be appointed in the same manner and by the same author 
ity that appoints courts-martial, whether general, regi 
mental, or garrison, and will, as far as practicable, be 
governed by the same limitations, rules, principles, and 
procedure, including reviews, modifications, meliorations, 
and approval of sentence. Articles 65, 97. 

The proceedings of councils of war will, of course, be 
kept in writing, and sent to the adjutant-general s office, 
as in the case of the proceedings of courts-martial. 



NATIONAL PALACE OF MEXICO, September 17, 1847. 

The general-in-chief republishes, with important addi 
tions, his General Orders, No. 20, of February 19, 1847 
(declaring martial law), to govern all who may be con 
cerned : 

1. It is still to be apprehended that many grave offenses 
not provided for in the act of Congress, "establishing 
rules and articles for the government of the armies of the 
United States," approved April 10, 1806, may be again 
committed by, or upon, individuals of those armies, in 
Mexico, pending the existing war between the two repub 
lics. Allusion is here made to offenses, any one of which, 
if committed within the United States or their organized 
Territories, would, of course, be tried and severely punished 
by the ordinary or civil courts of the land. 

2. Assassination, murder, poisoning, rape, or the at 
tempt to commit either ; malicious stabbing or maiming ; 
malicious assault and battery ; robbery, theft, the wanton 
desecration of churches, cemeteries, or other religious edi 
fices and fixtures ; the interruption of religious ceremonies, 
and the destruction, except by order of a superior officer, 
of public or private property are such offenses. 

3. The good of the service, the honor of the United 
States, and the interests of humanity, imperiously demand 
that every crime, enumerated above, should be severely 

4. But the written code, as above, commonly called the 
Rules and Articles of War, does not provide for the pun 
ishment of one of those crimes, even when committed by 
individuals of the army upon the persons or property of 
other individuals of the same, except in the very restricted 
case in the ninth of those articles ; nor for like outrages, 


committed by the same class of individuals, upon the 
persons or property of a hostile country, except very par 
tially in the fifty-first, fifty-second, and fifty- fifth articles ; 
and the same code is absolutely silent as to all injuries 
which may be inflicted upon individuals of the army, or 
their- property, against the laws of war, by individuals of a 
hostile country. 

5. It is evident that the ninety-ninth article, independ 
ent of any restriction in the eighty-seventh, is wholly nuga 
tory in reaching any one of those high crimes. 

6. For all the offenses, therefore, enumerated in the 
second paragraph above, which may be committed abroad 
in, ty, or upon the army a supplemental code is abso 
lutely needed. 

7. That unwritten code is martial law, as an addition 
to the written military code prescribed by Congress in the 
Rules and Articles of War, and which unwritten code all 
armies in hostile countries are forced to adopt not only 
for their own safety, but for the protection of the unoffend 
ing inhabitants and their property, about the theatres of 
military operations, against injuries on the part of the 
army, contrary to the laws of war. 

8. From the same supreme necessity, martial law is 
hereby declared as a supplemental code in, and about, all 
cities, towns, camps, posts, hospitals, and other places 
which may be occupied by any part of the forces of the 
United States, in Mexico, and in and about all columns, 
escorts, convoys, guards, and detachments, of the said 
forces, while engaged in prosecuting the existing war in 
and against the said republic, and while remaining within 
the same. 

9. Accordingly, every crime, enumerated in paragraph 
No. 2 above, whether committed 1. By any inhabitant 
of Mexico, sojourner or traveler therein, upon the person 


or property of any individual of the United States forces, 
retainer or follower of the same ; 2. By any individual of 
the said forces, retainer or follower of the same, upon the 
person or property of any inhabitant of Mexico, sojourner 
or traveler therein ; or, 3. By any individual of the said 
forces, retainer or follower of the same, upon the person or 
property of any other individual of the said forces, retainer 
or follower of the same shall be duly tried and punished 
under the said supplemental code. 

10. For this purpose it is ordered that all offenders, in 
the matters aforesaid, shall be promptly seized, confined, 
and reported for trial, before military commissions) to be 
duly appointed as follows : 

11. Every military commission, under this order, will 
be appointed, governed, and limited, as nearly as practi 
cable, as prescribed by the sixty-fifth, sixty-sixth, sixty- 
seventh, and ninety-seventh of the said Eules and Articles 
of War, and the proceedings of such commissions will be 
duly recorded in writing, reviewed, revised, disapproved, 
or approved, and the sentences executed all, as near as 
may be, as in the cases of the proceedings and sentences of 
courts-martial : provided, that no military commission shall 
try any case clearly cognizable by any courts-martial ; and 
provided, also, that no sentence of a military commission 
shall be put in execution against any individual belonging 
to this army, which may not be, according to the nature 
and degree of the offense, as established by evidence, in 
conformity with known punishments, in like cases, in some 
one of the States of the United States of America. 

13. The administration of justice, both in civil and 
criminal matters, through the ordinary courts of the coun 
try, shall nowhere, and in no degree, be interrupted by any 
officer or soldier of the American forces, except 1. In cases 



to which an officer, soldier, agent, servant, or follower of 
the American army may be a party ; and, 2. In political 
cases that is, prosecutions against other individuals on the 
allegations that they have given friendly information, aid, 
or assistance to the American forces. 

By command of Major-General Scott : 

Acting Assistant Adjutant -General. 


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